Jarvis Landry had to speak his mind.
The Browns wide receiver delivered an impassioned speech in last week's debut of "Hard Knocks," imploring his teammates to practice through bumps and bruises as part of a larger culture change in Cleveland. The message was simple.
"You can't be great on the sideline," Landry said Monday. "I think in all aspects, when you're tired, when you're hurting, you've got to push yourself to finish."
Landry, a three-time Pro Bowler who spent the past four years in Miami, is among several new players hoping to stir a turnaround following the franchise's first winless season. It's why the Browns traded for him this past spring in the first place.
Against that backdrop, Landry felt compelled to say something after watching a series of practices that weren't up to par. He described the dynamic as "contagious" and a past standard that won't be tolerated now.
Simply, Landry believes if you're healthy enough to practice, you should practice. There's no gray area. "You know if you can go or can't go. But if you can go, then go," he said. "That's what I was saying."
Landry walks the talk, too. He refused to take an "off" day last week as part of Cleveland's regular rotation of keeping some players rested and healthy with an eye toward the regular season. At the behest of the team, he finally compromised when they allowed him to suit up for at least half a session. "I'm not taking no days off," he said with a smile. If he must, he's at least clocking in for a half day. "I'd rather it be that way," he said. "I still get my work in and approach the day like I'm practicing."
Landry, of course, understands injuries are part of the game and coach Hue Jackson's data-based desire to ease sidelined players back into the swing of things. His message, he said, wasn't about that. It's about creating a winning culture built on toughness, hard work and discipline.
"I know that I said it in the receiver room, but it was directed to the whole team. I think that it is going to allow us to create a mindset and the culture," he said.
"If we're going to change the culture, that is where it has to begin with. We cannot be having favors or taking days off or stuff like that. We have to practice and put in the work to be great."
After all, it's all an approach that has worked for Landry, one of the league's best receivers, over the years. He hopes his teammates follow his lead.
"That's where I find my greatness," he said. "It's not when I'm just watching or going through the motions."