Even on a day when he established a career high with 222 receiving yards and propelled the New York Giants to a much-needed victory, Odell Beckham Jr. couldn’t escape controversy. Beckham is being blasted in some quarters for his behavior, particularly his 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, near the end of sunday’s 27-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
We mentioned earlier what Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison had to say Sunday night. Here it is again:
Harrison: “I really like Odell. I think he has a lot of potential. Obviously he’s a great player and the type of thing that really sets him apart is he’s capable of taking it 60 yards to the house and really changing the complexion of the game. I love his energy, I love his passion that he brings. But if I’m a guy in that locker room, I would take myself, as well as the rest of the captains, and go to Odell and say, ‘Hey we love it. Keep it going during the play on the field, but all the side show… you got to get rid of that.’”
Dungy: “You cannot do this. This is going to cost you in games down the road. The Giants have to stop this. They’ve got to take this out of Odell Beckman. It’s going to come back and haunt them if they don’t stop it.”
That was just the beginning.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports took Beckham to task:
Beckham plays the game with emotion. I love that. I like when he dances in the end zone. I loved the triple-jump celebration after his first TD catch. But the other stuff, like fighting with defensive backs and doing dumb things like taking off his helmet on the field, impact the game. That matters.
He's too damn good a player to allow that to happen. His skill set is unreal. He should be in the conversation about the best receiver in the game, right there with Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and Julio Jones of the Falcons. Now it's more about his antics and his on-field fights and everything else.
The game should be the talk. Not the crap.
Beckham should just play football -- and let his game do all the talking for him.
Here is another take from CBS Sports New York:
As always you can’t measure the man with normal metrics. The glittering stats tell one tale — eight catches, 222 yards and two touchdowns. In a single stroke, Beckham tripled his TD total, and gained more yards in one game than he did in any two games combined.
Yet he came dangerously close to costing his team the game. After jerking his helmet from his head, in the ultimate “look at me” moment, he stomped down the sideline, chest-out, basking in the adulation from his friends and fans. Then, of course, he returned to his girlfriend, the kicking net, making pseudo love to it while surrounded by all manner of media, wide smiles and flashing cameras, and Page Six glory. He was hamming it up, making it about OBJ, not the NYG.
But that act is getting old, as are his histrionics. Beckham is just too talented to ignore, trade or forsake. But it’s just silly to assert that the epic mood swings and childish gestures are inevitable, that the penalties are all part of the performance. There’s a reason Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss don’t have Super Bowl rings. Beckham is equally talented. Let’s hope he’s not similarly tormented.
Finally, here is ESPN’s Louis Riddick on “Mike & Mike:”
“He has a streak in him that is very much so me driven. He likes the attention, he likes to be the center of attention no matter how much he says he doesn’t want to be... the only reason you tolerate this on an NFL team is because he is such a unique talent.”
Riddick said after the final touchdown “you knew he was going to do something that was going to take away from the fact that this is a football team who had put themselves in position to win and he was going to make it about himself ... I don’t know how you get that out of him. I don’t know if that’s a maturity issue ... it’s annoying.”
Your thoughts, Giants fans?