Beckham intends to have fun even if it makes him a target
Aug. 26, 2015
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. is well aware how annoying he can be on the field.
Not only does the New York Giants' receiver catch passes with ease, he has that infuriating habit of yapping to defensive backs and making celebratory gestures after big plays.
It's no wonder that some cornerbacks and safeties want to put a big hit on him.
Beckham doesn't mind the added attention, and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has no plans on changing his style.
"I still have to play with the same passion and come to the field the same way every time," Beckham said Wednesday. "People are going to talk, you're going to talk, you get caught up in the game. It's heat of the moment, things are going to get said, and after the game, all is forgotten."
All wasn't forgotten after the Giants' preseason game with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday.
Fellow receiver Victor Cruz said some of the Jags defensive backs appeared to be targeting Beckham, looking to make a big hit rather than make a play on the ball.
Beckham agreed with the assessment, to a point.
"It's football, you're going to get hit, you're going to have to take shots, and you're going to have to get up and compete," Beckham said.
"I'm not so much worried about being targeted. I know maybe (it's) a little self-inflicted with that, that's what it's going to be like. I'm just going to be a target in other people's eyes, something that I have to look out for, so just protecting yourself and knowing that there are 52 other people that have your back."
Beckham certainly is worth protecting. He had 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in just 12 games last season. He missed the first four with a hamstring injury.
For the most part, Beckham has been healthy in training camp. The Giants haven't pushed him and he's not missed much time.
The preseason has not been productive. Eli Manning has thrown seven passes his way and not one has been completed. The timing between the two has been off at times and Beckham also dropped a pass.
"I feel as if we'll be all right whether we get a pass going or not," Beckham said. "Like I said, I'm just looking forward to be able to go against some very good competition."
Beckham should get that this weekend going against Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in the annual preseason game against the Jets.
With Cruz out with a calf injury and Rueben Randle just getting back from tendinitis in his knee, the Giants will need Beckham to play well.
"The receiving corps, starting with myself, I know I need to step it up and take it to another level as far as bringing energy, and everything that's going on," Beckham said. "It's time for this team to take another step."
Manning said that the offense can make it tough for defenders to cover Beckham by moving him around.
"There's still going to be opportunities, opportunities to make plays and it's just what you do with those opportunities," Manning said.
NOTES: Starting right guard Marshall Newhouse had his left ankle stepped on late in the practice, forcing him off the field. ...Safety Nat Berhe re-aggravated a calf injury a day after returning to practice. ... Starting center Weston Richburg (knee) and receiver Victor Cruz (calf) did not practice. Veteran Dallas Reynolds has filled in for Richburg. ... Cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Trevin Wade had interceptions.