How Jarvis Landry’s conversations with Jameis Winston helped lead the receiver to the Saints

Jameis Winston didn’t go into sales mode because all he had to do was tell his truth.

When Jarvis Landry and Winston spoke this offseason, the wide receiver listened to the Saints’ quarterback as he explained how the team operates and the culture in place. Winston couldn’t say enough good things about the coaching staff. All of this was what Landry wanted to hear.

“I want to walk into a situation where the culture is set, walk into a situation where everybody’s working on one accord,” Landry said. “That’s something that’s very important to me at this stage in my career.”

After their first conversation, Landry wanted to keep talking. So, they talked more about the dynamics of the receiver room and how Landry would fit into the mix. The wide receiver became convinced that he would have opportunities to make plays and that he shared a vision with Winston on how that was going to happen.

“He’s gonna throw, and he’s gonna make plays, and he’s gonna trust his guys to make plays for him,” Landry said. “And as a receiver, that’s all you need, that’s all you want.”

Of course, there were other factors, but Landry said his conversations with Winston were one of the main reasons he signed a one-year contract to go home to New Orleans. Sometimes, the quarterback is the one who must go out and make a play.

But now, that responsibility will go back to Landry, who will be joining forces with Michael Thomas and Chris Olave to form a strong trio of players at the top of the depth chart. Landry believes that all three players will fit together well while creating different ways to stress a defense.

“Me and Mike are more similar, but at the end of the day, we all are a problem,” Landry said. “We all pose a different type of threat, especially in this offense where things are interchangeable. Different types of personnel, different weapons, you can’t ever leave out (Alvin Kamara) and the things he does for the running game. Getting Jameis back healthy is gonna be important.”

Olave sees a similar future for this group, and just having all of this talent in one room should make everybody better – especially Olave. He knows the opportunity he has to learn from two of the NFL’s better wide receivers, and he is already taking advantage.

After the draft, the rookie spent about 10 days working out with Thomas in California and is already learning about the team and what it takes to succeed after watching Thomas’ competitiveness up close and personal. Olave joked that Thomas was punting the ball away in frustration after drops.

Since both players attended Ohio State, Olave and Thomas had a pre-existing relationship, and Olave has long considered his fellow Buckeye someone he could lean on for tips and advice. The rookie hasn’t yet met Landry, but he feels like he already knows a little bit about Landry.

“I’ve watched a lot of film on Jarvis, just his short movement quickness,” Olave said. “And Mike is one of the best receivers in the game, so of course I watch him. But to see them in person, see how they work in person, I feel like it’s going to help me a lot.”

New Orleans should have one of the more dynamic groups of playmakers at wide receiver if everything goes to plan. Thomas should still be one of the better players at the position after missing last season with an ankle injury. Olave looks every bit the part and is expected to make an immediate impact after being selected with the 11th pick of the draft.

And now Landry is coming in to be the finishing touch. He had 52 catches for 570 yards over 12 games last year but finished with 847 yards in 2020 and 1,174 in 2019. Despite playing with several other talented players, he should have every opportunity to be on the higher end of that scale this year.

Landry believes that opportunity will exist. That’s why he came here. His path through free agency was long. Rumors tied him to the Falcons, Browns, and Ravens. He reportedly turned down at least one big offer and later changed agents. The market didn’t work out the way he wanted, and Landry admits that his free agency was frustrating. Now, he’s here on a one-year deal worth $3 million. Maybe that isn’t what he was hoping for in terms of money or years, but Landry seems to have no regrets.

So, even though it took a little while to get there, Winston has already connected on his first attempt with Landry. Now, the they can do it on the field, too.

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