Prior to their Week 2 matchup, Odell Beckham Jr. is levying accusations at Gregg Williams of the New York Jets.
Williams was at the helm for the closest thing the rebooted Cleveland Browns have had to glory days. Now the defensive coordinator for the Jets, Williams shouldn’t expect a warm welcome from those representing his former employers.
Several Browns took issue with the longtime NFL assistant as they prepare to face the Jets on Monday night (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN). Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was the most prominent, citing personal history with a Williams Cleveland group.
In August 2017, Beckham squared off against the Browns in a preseason game as a member of the New York Giants. After catching a second-quarter pass from Eli Manning, Beckham was brought down via a low-ankle hit by then-Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Beckham left the game injured and wound up missing the first game of the ensuing regular season.
Beckham said he would be wary of further perceived cheap shots on Monday.
“The only thing I’m buying is probably just gotta watch out for the cheap shots and the dirty hits and all of the things that he likes to teach. That’s pretty much all we gotta watch out for,” Beckham said, per Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com. The receiver would also state that the hit “changed (his) life”.
Beckham stated that leftover members of the 2017 Browns revealed to him that Williams told them to tackle Beckham low to force an injury. Williams has gained controversy throughout a lengthy NFL career for alleged dirty play from his defenses.
If true, the Beckham incident would serve as an ugly callback to Williams’ “BountyGate” case. Then the overseer of the New Orleans Saints’ defense, Williams was accused of offering bounties to defenders for taking out opponents. Williams was suspended indefinitely for his involvement in the scandal in 2012, but was reinstated the following season.
Browns safety Damarious Randle was in no mood to discuss Williams, replying only “next question” when his name came up, per Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan.
Williams served as the Browns’ defensive coordinator for two seasons. Upon the firing of Hue Jackson, he was promoted to interim head coach of the 2-5-1 squad. Cleveland went on to win five of its eight games under his watch. His 5-3 record allowed him to be the first head coach in Browns history to depart with a winning record since Marty Schottenheimer (1984-88).
Williams has yet to respond to Beckham’s allegations. He’s set to speak at the Jets’ facility on Friday.