Miami Dolphins

Dolphins value Landry but want to spread the ball around

BY BARRY JACKSON

bjackson@miamiherald.com

Among similarities between the Dolphins’ offense witnessed during this training camp and the unit they fielded last season: lots of sacks relinquished and an extreme reliance on Jarvis Landry in the passing game.

Landry last season was targeted on 167 passes – sixth most in the league, and ahead of star receivers Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green.

The next Dolphin on the list?

Tight end Jordan Cameron, who was 91st with 70 targets.

And that trend has continued during this camp, with Landry targeted on the clear majority of balls that Ryan Tannehill throws to his receivers and tight ends.

During a camp when the offense has struggled and DeVante Parker has missed time with a hamstring injury, many of the limited number of successful passing plays have gone to Landry.

Landry’s high productivity, great hands and the high energy with which he plays vaulted him into the list of NFL.com’s top 100 players this offseason, as voted by his peers. (Landry was 98th.)

But though it’s absolutely no knock on Landry’s skills, the Dolphins haven’t won any of Landry’s best games statistically.

In his two seasons, the Dolphins are 0-5 when he has 90 or more receiving yards. They’re 0-3 when he catches 10 or more passes, losing those games by 41 points combined last season to the Bills, Jets and Giants. (There obviously will be more opportunity to catch passes when a team is playing catchup, as Miami was in those games.)

Against the Giants last December, Tannehill threw 18 passes to Landry (who caught 11 for 99) and just 20 combined to every other receiver and tight end. Miami went scoreless in the last 24 minutes of that 31-24 loss. Tannehill missed Landry on a deep pass in the second half, which wasn't Landry's fault.

While Landry is highly productive, he isn’t likely to break many long plays. (His longest passing play last season was 50 yards and he had four touchdowns).

Consider that Landry ranked 13th in the NFL in receiving yards at 1157 last season, but his 10.5 average per catch was lowest among the top 40 receivers in total yardage.

Should any of this be held against Landry? Absolutely not. He’s one of Miami’s most valuable assets on offense.

Armando asked a good question today about the imbalance of passes thrown to Landry and it’s clear Adam Gase wants to spread the ball around more.

“One day I tried to script every play to where he wasn’t in the progression and somehow the ball went to him,” Gase said. “The guy is like a magnet. I’ve never seen anything like it. He does his job right and the coverage seems to take Ryan there a lot of times."

In his two seasons, the Dolphins are 0-5 when he has 90 or more receiving yards. They’re 0-3 when he catches 10 or more passes, losing those games by 41 points combined last season to the Bills, Jets and Giants. (There obviously will be more opportunity to catch passes when a team is playing catchup, as Miami was in those games.)

Against the Giants last December, Tannehill threw 18 passes to Landry (who caught 11 for 99) and just 20 combined to every other receiver and tight end. Miami went scoreless in the last 24 minutes of that 31-24 loss. Tannehill missed Landry on a deep pass in the second half, which wasn't Landry's fault.

While Landry is highly productive, he isn’t likely to break many long plays. (His longest passing play last season was 50 yards and he had four touchdowns).

Consider that Landry ranked 13th in the NFL in receiving yards at 1157 last season, but his 10.5 average per catch was lowest among the top 40 receivers in total yardage.

Should any of this be held against Landry? Absolutely not. He’s one of Miami’s most valuable assets on offense.

Armando asked a good question today about the imbalance of passes thrown to Landry and it’s clear Adam Gase wants to spread the ball around more.

“One day I tried to script every play to where he wasn’t in the progression and somehow the ball went to him,” Gase said. “The guy is like a magnet. I’ve never seen anything like it. He does his job right and the coverage seems to take Ryan there a lot of times."

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