Jarvis Landry is no longer in Cleveland, but the effect he had among players in the Browns' locker room has still been felt this season.
Ask Nick Chubb, David Njoku or Denzel Ward.
All three players were among the seven still on the Browns' roster when Landry joined the team in 2018. Chubb and Ward were in their first NFL seasons and Njoku was in his second, and each of them can vividly recall the energy Landry brought to a team that initially lacked it after their 0-16 season a year prior.
"Jarvis taught me a lot," Chubb said Tuesday. "I came in here as a young rookie, and he was Jarvis Landry. Just on and off the field, everything, he's always there for me. A great person, a great player, a great leader. He was a big part of me being who I am in football."
Njoku credited Landry with instilling a true winning mentality in the building.
"I think he was one of the main reasons we got this thing turned around, along with obviously a few other players," he said. "I have to give credit to him for the majority of it because he had the mentality and the mindset of winning and pushing through adversity. I feel like that rubbed on a bunch of players at the time when he was here."
Those memories will come back this week when the Browns host the Saints, Landry's current team, on Saturday at FirstStadium. Landry signed with the Saints last offseason after four storied years with the Browns that are the most successful seasons since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999. He ranks 15th in franchise history with 3,560 receiving yards.
The top memory many players — and fans — remember most from Landry was his famous speech during a wide receivers meeting on an episode of HBO's Hard Knocks. The expletive-filled, but passionate speech about practicing through pain and not taking days off was considered a rallying cry for the team that season, which ended with a 7-8-1 record and represented a major step in a positive direction following the winless season.
"I remember the video," Chubb said. "What he said was true: If you're healthy, you can practice. You should, and things needed to change around here. Ever since then, things have changed. It's a lot of doing what Jarvis did here."
Landry backed that speech up by playing through several injuries during his career — a rib injury in 2020 and a knee injury in 2021 were among them, yet he continued to play each week and participate in practice, often giving cornerbacks a true test of the intensity that was to come from an opponent on game day.
"You couldn't take any days off with him," Ward said. "You had to lock in. He gave you those game reps that you looked for going against a guy like that to get you ready for the game."
Now, the Browns will face Landry in an actual game, and they expect nothing less than what they saw when Landry was their team leader.
He'll be on the other sideline, but he'll still be missed.
"If we had Jarvis here, it'd be amazing," Chubb said. "He was a great player and a great teammate. We all love him."
Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the New Orleans Saints
Chubb staying sleeveless, Njoku staying shirtless
Perhaps the biggest storyline for Saturday's game will be the arctic cold temperatures expected to slam Cleveland and much of the country for the weekend.
Winds of up to 60 mph and a wind chill as low as -12 are forecasted for the game, according to Accuweather.com. There's also a potential for snow throughout the day.
Chubb and Njoku, however, aren't changing anything about their game day looks.
For Chubb, that means sticking with a sleeveless look under his pads.
"It wouldn't change anything for me," he said.
And for Njoku, that means continuing to go shirtless in warmups.
"It's more like a mentality thing," he said. "On gameday, I feel nothing."
Pocic to return soon
The Browns designated C Ethan Pocic to return from injured reserve Tuesday, and head coach Kevin Stefanski said "I do" when asked if he could potentially be available for Saturday's game.
Pocic would provide a big boost to the offensive line after a dominant performance in the first 11 games of the season. He ranks third among centers with an 83.0 grade from Pro Football Focus and is also fourth among NFL centers with an 84.3 run block grade.
"He's trending in that direction but have to see him practice first," Stefanski said Tuesday. "Hjalte (Froholdt) has done a nice job in there. He has really played well for us. If it is Hjalte again, we are excited for that because he is playing well. If it is Ethan, we're excited about that. He was playing at a high level and playing very physically for us prior to getting injured."