Jarvis Landry didn't have the stomach to watch much of the AFC and NFC Championships last weekend. The pain was still too fresh after the Browns came oh so close to beating the Chiefs and advancing one step closer to the Super Bowl.
"It's tough," Landry said Monday in an interview on CBS Sports HQ. "Every year guys set out to be a champion. When you fall short of that goal, it's very tough."
Still, Landry can take plenty of satisfaction from what the Browns accomplished in 2020, his third with the team. Though his individual numbers — 72 receptions, 840 yards, 3 touchdowns during the regular season — were down a touch from the previous two years, Landry played a key role in a Browns offense that was reborn under the leadership of coach Kevin Stefanski and QB Baker Mayfield, who had his best season yet.
The Browns scored their second-most points in team history (408) while notching their best per-game average (25.5) since 1987. Cleveland had the league's third-best red zone offense (TDs on 73.6 percent of trips) and third-best rushing attack (148.4 yards per game). On four occasions, including an unforgettable Wild Card victory over the Steelers, the Browns cleared 40 points, and added four other 30-plus point games.
"I think about the Cleveland Browns organization and everything we've accomplished this year and been able to do as a team, it speaks volumes to the guys that are in this building working hard each and every day with each other," Landry said. "It's sad the season ended the way it did but we did accomplish a lot and we have some stuff to build on."
Check out the best photos from the Browns game against the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday by the Browns photo team
"Building" is imperative to Landry.
It will be required, he said, to compete with the likes of the Chiefs, whom he called "the standard." Kansas City, which had just a little more firepower than the Browns in their AFC Divisional Round matchup, is back in the Super Bowl and looking for its second straight championship. The Chiefs aren't going anywhere, and the Browns will have to get through them if they want to reach their ultimate goals.
"We're looking at what we've done and also being critical of the mistakes and errors," Landry said. "All the things we can fix to get better so that we can beat teams like Kansas City. Right now, they look like they're the standard. They've been to the Super Bowl for the last two years. We want to obviously focus on us but we have to beat teams like that and we need all of us."
The Browns didn't have all of their weapons for most of the 2020 season. RB Nick Chubb was lost for four weeks during the first half of the season and WR Odell Beckham Jr., Landry's closest friend, was lost for the second half of the year and the playoffs after suffering a knee injury Week 7 against the Bengals.
Landry said he's been in constant communication with Beckham, whose "whole focus has been about rehab, making sure he's going to be able to be out there on the field and be the guy we all know he can be."
With nearly everyone on offense slated to return in 2021, Landry is buoyed with optimism about the Browns' ability to turn the pain they feel now into the fuel that powers them to even more offensive success in the years to come.
"The old times ain't nothing like the new times. It's real," said Landry, admittedly borrowing a Drake lyric. "We continue to grow and the healthier we can stay, the hungry, never satisfied type of attitude, the mentality we need is in the building. We just need to keep growing on that and continue to never feel entitled in this league because any given Sunday.
"For us, we have to continue to grow, continue to know the things we did last year don't count this year. We've got to go out and prove it again."