Fundamentally, it’s not a good idea to publicly take your own fans to task. It’s even worse to take them on, when they are rightfully ridiculing an offense/QB play that deserves it due to almost inept results.
Well, Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry “went there” on Thursday afternoon and, while his teammates, and Jay Cutler in specific, may have loved it, it’s a bad idea.
First, let’s go over what was said.
Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post provides Landry’s response to Dolphins fans chanting “We want (backup QB Matt) Moore!” during the second half on Sunday.
“It’s not about who’s the quarterback,” Landry said. “Jay is our quarterback. And you know we stand by him regardless of the fact. And we find ways to make plays for each other. That’s what it’s about. We don’t buy into the fans, who do they want to be the quarterback.” He continued, “if they could be the coach, they would want to be the coach, too. They would want to change the coach. They would want to change the players. And we can’t buy into all that”
Landry continued defending Cutler with, “I believe it’s disrespectful. A man that comes out here and works his a– off and for people to not really understand what’s really going on. Or to not even have touched the field before, to say we want somebody else to be playing, they don’t understand the situation or know what’s going on.”
And then, he cranked it up by finishing with, “they just want to be on Twitter. They just want to start a damn chant and it’s embarrassing, as a player to have fans like that.”
That last part is what we mean about “bad idea.”
The truth is this: Fans have been booing, cat calling, chanting for backups, etc. at sporting events for decades. Heck, centuries, going back to jousts in the mid-evil times and in Coliseum in ancient times (“We want the Lion”).
This is nothing new.
And especially in the NFL, fans of teams struggling are constantly chanting for the quarterback who’s not playing.
And, that brings us back to Sunday.
The Dolphins were playing their delayed home opener and for the fourth consecutive game they stunk offensively. In specific, Jay Cutler has regressed the last month at such a rapid rate, that he was struggling to complete even simple passes.
You don’t have to have “touched the field before” to see him throwing late, and off his back foot. Or, to see Cutler off-balance “wing” the ball towards a double covered receiver, which he did at least twice Sunday.
And here’s the most damning thing. Miami has weapons all over the place and yet, for their last three games plus, the fourth quarter of game one, they have two offensive TDs.
13 quarters. Two touchdowns.
Landry wants to talk about “embarrassing” from the fans?
And these are fans, that in the lower level of Hard Rock Stadium are paying, $125, $175, $250 a ticket, just to get in and sit in the best seats.
And they shouldn’t chant for Matt Moore?
Moore, who repeatedly played well after taking over for the injured Ryan Tannehill in the second half of week 14, led the Fins to wins over the Jets and Bills the next two games where they scored,… ready?
34 points in each game.
Here’s a hint: The Dolphins have 22 points (16 from their offense) in the last three games.
Moore would not have been any worse than that, and likely would spark the team.
In fact, at halftime of the Titans game Sunday on CBS, analyst Boomer Esiason, a former Pro Bowl QB, who played in the Super Bowl too, flat out said after the terrible first half, Gase should bench Cutler and play Matt Moore.
That’s not “fans who haven’t touched the field.” That’s someone with a ton of experience and credibility saying it.
It’s understandable there’s frustration from Landry. He’s a team leader. They have playoff expectations.
And after Tannehill re-injured his ACL in training camp and Cutler was quickly lured in by his previous relationship and success with Adam Gase in Chicago, every Dolphin fan everywhere wanted to see it work.
Now, it’s not working.
And if Cutler and the offense stink again, this time in Atlanta, on Sunday? The calls for Matt Moore will intensify and justifiably, so.
The only scenario, where it doesn’t get much worse is if they suddenly snap out of it and play great great offense at Mercedes Benz Stadium. It’s possible.
Otherwise, with Landry already “out on the ledge” backing bad football and calling out fans, it will only go from bad to worse for he and his comments Thursday.
Bad idea, indeed.