The Freak Catch Tape. What a perfect name.
Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are freaks on the football field. The catches they’ve made, dating back to their time as teammates at Louisiana State, are absurd.
And somewhere in an LSU assistant coach’s office, they’re all stored for posterity’s sake.
“There’s a tape that coach Frank Wilson at LSU has and I’ve been trying to get my hands on it,” Landry said Wednesday. “I had a copy, but I misplaced it and there’s literally every catch that we’ve ever made. It’s called the Freak Catch Tape.”
Added Beckham: “It’s one of those tapes that it’ll tell a story just from watching it.”
The unlikeliest of chapters in that story will be written Monday.
That’s when Landry and Beckham — the best of friends, or “brothers,” as each put it Wednesday — will meet for the first time as professionals. It’s the main (and perhaps only) reason for a national television audience to tune in for a game between two 5-7 teams.
Friends since high school, they came up through the LSU football factory together. They were selected just 51 picks apart in the 2014 NFL Draft; Beckham went in the first round to the Giants, and the Dolphins took Landry in Round 2.
Beckham has 169 career catches in two NFL seasons; Landry has 162.
Both are their team’s most important outside threat. And neither wants to let the other win Monday. The loser will probably have to hear about it for the next four years.
“I just want to see him be the greatest receiver of all time, and I think it’s the same for me,” Beckham said. “We’re going to push each other to be the best we possibly can.”
Back in the summer, Fox Sports reported that the two receivers will have a catching contest during Monday’s pregame warmups.
Landry on Wednesday wanted to keep the details a surprise, saying only: “We’ll get together earlier that day before pregame and we’ll put something together.”
The bar is already set high for Beckham.
Before games, he has a routine. He catches passes on his back, with his head facing the quarterback. He makes leaping, contorting touchdown catches along the sideline.
And, of course, Beckham makes a few one-handed grabs too. How could he not? That’s what put him on the map last year.
His three-fingertips, behind-the-head catch during a Sunday night game against the Cowboys from 2014 won the ESPY Award for Best Play of the year. But Landry insists he has seen one even better during practice.
“To me and a couple of other people, we see him do these things all of the time, but on a regular basis,” Landry said. “There’s more left in there and he’ll bring it out when it’s necessary.”
Some close friends cut off communication in the days leading up to a game against each other. Landry and Beckham might actually ramp theirs up. They call, text or FaceTime once a day, and Landry plans to take his friend out to dinner Sunday night.
But don’t question either’s desire to win Monday. They barely need the extra motivation. The Giants, despite their record, remain in strong position to win their division.
And for Landry, it’ll be his first time back on the field since going off on the sideline during the Dolphins’ ugly win against the Ravens.
Landry threw his helmet and needed several teammates to calm him down.
Speaking to New York reporters via conference call, Landry said the incident was “me trying to fire the team up.”
Landry continued: “I was trying to get them to rally around me, rally around the passing, the energy. We had like four or five drives where we barely moved the ball. I think it was just trying to get guys fired up. Trying to get guys a little more into the game, playing with a little more energy and we got the W so I think it worked.”
Adam H. Beasley | miamiherald.com | December 9, 2015