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Odell Beckham: Winning is “bigger concern” than facing Josh Norman

Giants’ star tries to downplay matchup, feud with Washington cornerback

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
Odell Beckham
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Odell Beckham Jr., as expected, was asked question after question on Wednesday about his upcoming meeting with Josh Norman in Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. Beckham did his best to deflect all of it.

“Honestly, there really is a bigger concern. Division game, 2-0 start to the year. Really focused on going 3-0,” Beckham said. “Wherever I go, wherever I lineup, that’s my job. The same way it would be whoever’s job it is to stop me. My job is to win over there. The biggest concern is winning, winning this game.”

Giants and Redskins fans know the deal. The three personal foul penalties Beckham drew last season in a game when Norman played for the Carolina Panthers. The one-game suspension Beckham served. All the barbs that have gone back and forth between the two since that time.

We have written a number of times about Beckham’s need to channel his emotions and simply play. That is advice quarterback Eli Manning has reiterated to his star wide receiver.

So, without any deep analysis or trying to come up with any magical new twist to a story we all wish would go away — shoot, one that had never been created — here are some of Beckham’s remarks from Wednesday about Norman.

On lingering emotions from last season ...

“I’m good. A lot of things just like to make stories. Just stuff that looks good to click on. Words are misconstrued. I’m good.”

On whether he expects Norman to try and get him to lose his cool ...

“I expect him to play his game the way he’s always played to get him in the position he is now. He’s obviously done a good job of that. I expect him to play his game.”

On how much he believes he has matured since last season’s incident ...

“A lot. It’s been a lot that’s happened since then. That was a lot that happened at the time period of my life. You take the good and the bad and you learn from it. That’s how you grow and improve yourself as an individual and a human being. You take the life lessons and you learn from it.”

On the possibility of Norman shadowing him throughout the game ...

“It would be the same as if I was on the other side going one-on-one with anybody else. It is what it is at this point. That’s not really my concern. My concern is our game plan. If that’s their game plan, then that’s their game plan.”

On what he learned from his suspension ...

“It sucked. It felt like if any of you have ever been suspended at elementary school or whatever. It really felt like that. I was out and I remember I was going to the facility to pick up my stuff and they said you can’t be here. I was like alright. Since then, I really have learned a lot. You just have to take it. All you can do is learn from it. You can’t go back. If I could, I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing that happened. That’s how life happens. Things happened for a reason and everything happens for a reason.”