Odell Beckham Jr. has been watching for weeks as the New York Giants offense sputtered through two preseason games and has often been outclassed during training camp practices by his own team's defense. That hasn't shaken the rookie wide receiver's confidence in a group he says could be "one of the best in the league."
"It has potential to be if not the best one of the best in the league. You have a receiving corps like we do and a great quarterback, along with the backfield and the tight ends, along with much improvement from the offensive line. I don't see anything but being one of the best in the league.
"I'm just looking forward to being a piece of the puzzle."
Does Beckham see something no one else has seen to this point? Is this just a rookie going a bit overboard in expressing confidence in an offense that remains a work in progress? Maybe a little of both.
One of the Giants' biggest issues has been that Beckham, the team's first-round pick, has been unable to get on the field learn and grow in the new offense being implemented by first-year coordinator Ben McAdoo. Beckham finally returned to practice on a limited basis this week after being out since the first day of camp with a hamstring injury.
"It felt so good to get back out there and catch some passes from a quarterback and not the JUGS machine," said Beckham, who took part in individual drills and 7-on-7 work on Tuesday.
"He's building up," said head coach Tom Coughlin. "He had a few snaps today. Not many but a few."
To be the kind of offense the Giants are hoping for, and to even dream of approaching being among the league's best, the Giants need a solid contribution from Beckham Jr. as a rookie. The Giants have the terrific Victor Cruz in the slot, but don't have much in terms of proven receiving weapons on the outside. Can Reuben Randle command double teams? That seems doubtful. Jerrel Jernigan seems to be struggling on the outside. Corey Washington and Marcus Harris have impressed, but neither is a lock to even make the team. Mario Manningham looks like a shell of what he was in his first tour with the Giants.
"Feels good to just be able to move around. It's not 100 percent, not full strength. I couldn't even give you a percentage. Slowly but surely it'll get back to where it needs to be," Beckham said. "I know I missed a lot of time. Not being able to run routes, not being able to get adjusted to the speed. It's all something that I've just been seeing and not really getting a feel."
When will Beckham appear in a game? He sounded on Tuesday as though it was unlikely he would play Saturday vs. the Indianapolis Colts, with a more likely target being the following week against the New York Jets.
"Looking forward to getting back out there, but it will take some time," Beckham said. "That's up to the trainers. Stuff goes the right way this week then [I] could be out there, but it's kind of one of those decisions that's up to them."