Barry Jackson

Some eye-opening Landry numbers; Dolphins nuggets

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) battles with New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (41) for yardage in the third quarter as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium on Sunday, September 24, 2017.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) battles with New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (41) for yardage in the third quarter as the New York Jets host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium on Sunday, September 24, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Saturday:

• For a high-end receiver, the Dolphins are giving Jarvis Landry very few chances to make plays downfield.

Of his 25 catches this season, seven have come on balls thrown behind the line of scrimmage, 16 on passes that were in the air between 1 and 10 yards and only two thrown between 11 and 20.

That explains why Landry is averaging only 6.6 yards on his 25 catches.

Is this something Landry would mention to Adam Gase?

“I just play the game,” he said. “Can't do nothing else. Can control what I can control. I do what I can with what I’m doing.”

I’m no play-caller - though I did once stay at a Holiday Inn Express - but it would seem prudent to get Landry the ball outside of the phone booth he’s been restricted to.

• The Dolphins are allowing the league’s second-highest passer rating against, and Xavien Howard is permitting one of the league’s highest completion percentages.

So is Howard playing as tight as he wants?

“I’m playing tight,” he said. “Receivers make plays. This is the NFL. Everybody gets paid.”

• After not fielding a punt last Sunday, Jakeem Grant said he expects to be involved in that Sunday.

• Receiver Rashawn Scott said his shoulder, injured during the offseason program in June, is healed and he’s ready to come off PUP when he’s eligible after next Sunday’s Falcons game.

• The Dolphins and the evaluators at Pro Football Focus never agree on much of anything with offensive line grades, and here’s another: Whereas PFF says Mike Pouncey has been subpar in run blocking - among the worst six centers in the league - Gase said Friday:

“He’s probably playing his best ball right now and he’s graded out the last three games off the charts. If there’s one guy I can say that’s played good in every game, it’s been him.”

• It would be nice to see Kenyan Drake get more opportunities because of his ability to make big plays. Here’s how Gase described the best role for him:

“I think the ideal role for him is, and this is what we’re always going to be striving for with him, is we want him to stay where he’s at on special teams and get better, which he’s done a really good job there,” he said. “There are a lot of plays that you don’t realize he’s being impactful, because he might not necessarily make the tackle or he might not block the punt – all of those little things – or get a return; but he’s been positive in all of those areas on special teams. On offense, you’d love him to be a backup first- and second-down back. He has really good running skills and he has the ability to run routes and catch the ball out of the backfield. He has the ability in empty (sets) to flex him out and run multiple routes.”

The challenge, Gase said, is “sometimes when you’re a younger player and you’re not playing, it’s hard to learn as the season goes on. You can run as many scout team reps as you can, but that’s not the same as getting reps in practice. Our Thursdays or Wednesdays with him have been ways for him to get better because when Jay (Ajayi) doesn’t practice, he’s taking the majority of the reps. That’s good for him because it’s just one more thing he’s putting in his brain of he’s done it before.

“When we have all of those backs going and Jay (Ajayi) wants to get those reps in training camp, (Drake) kind of gets put to the backburner there where, as a young player, you really don’t want to do that because you want him to get those reps. The last two weeks have been really good for him because Jay (Ajayi) has missed a practice and he’s had to take the majority of the work.”

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