With a new season comes new hope. Tuesday was the first day of the New York Giants' voluntary mini-camp. It is the first small step towards the team's opening kickoff and the Giants and their fans cannot wait. For Odell Beckham Jr, there is only one way to describe how he's feeling: anxious.
"I’m just anxious," Beckham said. "It was a long offseason. You feel like you’re just sitting there and waiting around. There’s so much time to think. It was hard for me. One of my off-seasons at LSU, I had a nice year and wanted to come back and do even more. I was in California training three times a day. But I had to take a step back. The season is a very long one and I’ve learned that the hard way. So just taking care of your body and doing the little things is important. This is going to be one for the books."
One offseason is long enough to make any player anxious. Now imagine how Victor Cruz must be feeling after missing almost two full seasons due to injury. Beckham is looking forward to the opportunity to potentially playing with the former Pro-Bowl wide receiver.
"Looking at Victor Cruz and watching him, I know he’s as anxious as I am for him to be back on that field. It’s going to be fun to finally be able to line up with him. I’m definitely excited and looking forward to that."
Much was made about Eli Manning's comments that Beckham and the rest of the offense can "raise their level" of play. At mini-camp however, Beckham is only up for the task. In fact, his desire to improve is to fulfill his ultimate goal of winning a championship.
"I'm ready," Beckham said. "I have goals in mind. There are a lot of banners that aren’t here that need to be in here. That’s something that I look at every day. There’s nothing that crosses my mind more than putting a fifth banner here, saying 2016 Super Bowl champions. Your name will be here forever and it’s something you can take with you for a lifetime. There’s nothing more that’s on my mind than winning a Super Bowl."
For Beckham and everyone in the organization, they will not be seeing Tom Coughlin call the shots anymore. Instead, that job belongs to Ben McAdoo. While Beckham will have fond memories of Coughlin, he is confident in how prepared McAdoo is.
"Coach Coughlin leaving is huge," Beckham said. "He’s the first NFL head coach I’ve had and will always be my first memory. But McAdoo is stepping in and he looks prepared and anxious for the season. He’s licking his chops. There’s something so exciting this year for the Giants and I can’t wait to be a part of it."
The Giants are not the only team in their division to make big changes with the Washington Redskins acquiring Josh Norman. Beckham refused to give an answer when asked about his feelings on the signing or if he's looking forward to the matchup.
"I play for the Giants," Beckham said. "I’m looking forward to this year and everything we have ahead of us."
So are we.