Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry reunite in Cleveland with eye on bright future

Odell Beckham Jr. leaned back in his chair, gazed toward the floor and shook his head.

Jarvis Landry followed suit with a similar look of disbelief.

"This can't be real," Beckham murmured, echoing Baker Mayfield's recollection of his own reaction to their new reality.

The four men, budding NFL stars dressed in three matching polo shirts and one chocolate-brown suit, made it real. Beckham, Landry, Mayfield and Myles Garrett are all Cleveland Browns.

The media turnout -- "the most people we've had in this room, ever," per Mayfield -- for Monday's introductory press conference in Berea was indicative enough of what Beckham's arrival means to the Browns. Mayfield's reaction just hammered home the point.

"I had two people at the house sitting there when I found out. I just started screaming," Mayfield said. "Just yelling like you'd have thought I was on gameday.

"It's exciting because it's the potential, it's knowing exactly who he is, knowing what type of guy he is. His play and his ability speaks for itself. And then the things that we talked about all throughout last year, what we need, the types of guys we need to go in the right direction, that's the best thing about that. He's a team guy and he's gonna be a great presence for us in this locker room."

Less than a year ago, Landry was the one making waves with an impassioned speech caught by HBO's cameras during the Browns' 2018 training camp. It was the first step toward attempting to change and establish a new culture of winning and higher expectations.

Beckham's arrival only intensifies it.

"I kind of got the phone call maybe a little bit before everybody that it had went through, that the trade had went through," Landry said. "I cried. I called him. I talked to (general manager) John (Dorsey). I cried with John (laughter). I cried with (head coach) Freddie (Kitchens). I know for me, it is something that not only as a player but as a person, that he is somebody that my life needs. It is more than an honor to take the field with him again."

Beckham echoed such sentiments, which went from football potential to something deeper: A long-running friendship, conveniently highlighted by a new Nike advertisement released Monday.

Landry and Beckham have known each other since high school, where they were both highly sought-after recruits (Landry was a five-star prospect, Beckham a four-star). LSU scored both of their signatures, where they went on to each record 1,100-yard final seasons before turning pro and watching the NFL separate them.

Now, they resume their football journeys together on the same team.

"We feel like we spoke this into existence almost," Beckham said. "(Landry) and I dreamed of this. This is something we talked about at 17. I'm gonna live right down the street from you, we're gonna be on the same team, everything and it's surreal."

Beckham will have his best friend around to help him adjust to the new landscape. After all, it was just a year ago that Landry was in the same position, brought to Cleveland via trade, where he openly dreamt about the possibility of bringing his pal with him to Northeast Ohio. Now, it has happened, and as anyone who's ever moved away from home will tell you, it's a lot easier to accomplish when doing so with a close friend.

"I tell people all the time, he made me who I am today," Beckham said of Landry. "He's taken me to a level of this greatness, this legendary stuff that we talked about, it's because of him. So there's no better place for me to be than here."

The next step is to again get familiar with each other on the same field. Beckham recalled how he and Landry used to work in tandem during their time at LSU, which included countless practices spent blocking in a run-first offense and many additional hours sneaking into LSU's facility to use their JUGS machine to perfect their craft.

Also included in that time spent: Games in which one would throw the ball as hard as possible to the other outside their dorm, all with the same goal: Get better.

"This is my guy," Beckham said of Landry. "This is everything I ever dreamed of, and more. I'm just really excited about the opportunity. I'm looking at it, I feel it, I think it's the biggest blessing."

The blessing begins with this offseason's activities, which will ramp up with Beckham's involvement later in the period. There's plenty of time left before training camp, even if fans can't wait another moment for the season to arrive.

Just know this, Browns fans: Beckham and Co. are anxious to get going, too.

"I'm very excited. I just feel the different energy," Beckham said. "When I stepped off the plane and came in here, it's love. And that's something that we've based ourselves off our entire life is love. And you can definitely feel that when you walk in, so I'm looking forward to it."

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