Jarvis Landry spent his Friday morning not on vacation, but with close to 100 youth football players who might want to be like him one day.
One camper raced up to Landry in between drills to tell him just that, starting with "you're, like, my favorite player on the Browns. You catch mostly every single ball."
Landry laughed it off and thanked the participant, who also squeezed in how excited he was to have played on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium before the Browns hosted the Jets in 2018. It was a brief but valuable interaction for a player who hosted the camp on Friday (and continuing Saturday) because he wants to help the future generation come to love the game (and the opportunities it can provide) the way he does.
"It's very important because it's a platform I feel that guys like me have the opportunity to be out here and help these kids any way that I can," Landry said Friday during the camp at Shaker Heights High School. "I thank the parents and I thank ProCamps for putting this on allowing me to do this, Shaker (Heights High School) for allowing me to do this here. It's always a blessing."
Landry has served as a de facto face of the Browns franchise since he was acquired via trade last offseason and spent a lot of his first months in Cleveland attempting to change the culture within an organization that had unfortunately grown accustomed to struggles on the field. Such efforts have since extended to his involvement in the surrounding community, demonstrated by his two-day football camp and charity softball game that will take place Saturday in Eastlake.
The camper turnout and his presence reinforced this, but he wasn't the lone visible member of the Browns in attendance. Across the field from Landry stood Browns general manager John Dorsey, observing while wearing his trademark outfit. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and executive vice president J.W. Johnson also were in attendance in support of Landry's community efforts.
"I've been seeing John move around a lot, more than he does inside the building, and it's something that's special," Landry said. "I think that's something that's changing and is something that's part of the culture as well. I don't know how much community engagement was here before that ... but I know this year, I've seen them at baptisms, everywhere. And now we're here at a camp today, early in the morning and they've taken time out of their day to be here.
"It shows you a lot about the class that the organization has. As much care as we put into the community, they have as well. That's something that's hand in hand, that's big."
With the trio looking on, Landry bounced from station to station, instructing campers on basic football techniques ranging from securely holding the ball to stiff arms. He swatted at the ball as campers ran through drills and corrected form when needed, giving advice and encouragement the entire way.
The camp reached a crescendo with participants forming a square and lucky campers getting a chance to go one-on-one with Landry. Campers tried out a variety of winding routes in an attempt to shake Landry, the defender. He intercepted a pass intended for the first camper, but the second managed to hang on to his pass, even as Landry tested the technique he helped teach minutes earlier.
"You got strong hands, bro!" Landry told the participant while taking a photo with him afterward.
Landry helped hand out awards at the conclusion of camp and was available for photo opportunities with nearly everyone involved.
Landry stressed the importance of consistent effort when he spoke to the campers, setting goals for them to learn and "compete at a high level." They accomplished those Friday, and if they continue with the same effort, perhaps it could lead them down a path similar to that of Landry.
"My hope is that one day, one of you guys are in the position to do the same thing," he told the youth athletes.