Odell Beckham Jr. ruffled quite a few feathers with a set of critiques that he doled out regarding members of his team — and the greater New York Giants organization — over the weekend.
During an interview that ESPN released in full as part of its NFL Countdown segment on Sunday, October 7, the two-time All-Pro receiver expressed frustration over everything from the number of targets that have been aimed his way to the ineffectiveness of playcalling coming from the sidelines. In so many words, Beckham would essentially tell correspondent Josina Anderson that he doesn’t believe that he’s been afforded the opportunity to be as great as he can be, primarily due to the shortcomings of quarterback Eli Manning and the unwillingness of the coaching staff to take risks to get him the ball.
“I feel like he’s not going to get out the pocket. He’s not — we know Eli’s not running it. But is it a matter of time issue? Can he still throw it? Yeah, but it’s been pretty safe and it’s been, you know… cool catching shallow [routes] and trying to take it to the house. But I’m, you know, I want to go over the top of somebody,” Beckham says during the feature, which was fittingly titled “Odell Unfiltered.” OBJ’s offered a frank and personal assessment of his future Hall of Fame QB after wondering aloud about why Manning hasn’t progressed to passing the ball for more than 20 yards at a time throughout the first quarter of the team’s 2018-19 campaign.
In regards to strategy on the field, Beckham fussed about not being used in a productive manner over the past couple of years. While it appeared that he phrased his assertion in such a way to acknowledge that the problem started before first-year Coach Pat Shurmur came on board, it was clear in Beckham’s tone that he still sees such a rigid offensive approach as a problem. “I feel like I’m being out-schemed, and then I also don’t have a chance to, like, do something where I’ve got to take a slant and go 60. And not to say that’s not fun, but it’s like I want some easy touchdowns too,” the recently re-signed $95-million-man told Anderson.
Reports that have swirled since Beckham’s remarks have become public suggest that Coach Shurmur was perturbed by his star receiver’s choice of words. NBC Sports cites NFL insider Jay Glazer as confirming that Shurmur went so far as to order Beckham to apologize to his teammates — whose initiative he questioned early on in an interview that also saw rapper Lil Wayne participating.
Coming into Sunday’s game against Carolina, Manning and Beckham have connected for a total of 38 career touchdowns, which Deadspin notes to be among the top 10 results for any active quarterback-receiver duo. But if it were not for the 33-yard score that Manning put in his hands with just over eight minutes remaining in the Week 5 match-up, Beckham would have still been waiting for his first touchdown of the season.
Unfortunately for the Giants, their record would drop to 1-4 following a 33-31 loss to the Panthers. On the bright side, it was the second time that they scored more than 20 points this season. Whether the competitiveness of the contest is a sign of things to come on the heels of Beckham having created some controversial sparks remains to be seen.