New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams responded to accusations of dirty play by Odell Beckham Jr.
“Odell who?” Williams rhetorically queried, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) September 13, 2019
The coach’s reply comes fewer than 24 hours after Beckham accused Williams of intentionally trying to injure him during a 2017 preseason game. Beckham, a newly minted Cleveland Brown, claimed his new teammates in Cleveland leftover from the exhibition revealed the new information to him.
Thus, Beckham said he would “watch out for the cheap shots and the dirty hits and all of the things that he likes to teach” when the teams meet up at MetLife Stadium on Monday night (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Beckham was dealing with an ankle injury entering the aforementioned exhibition. He eventually left the game after taking a low hit from then-Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. While the hit was entirely legal by NFL rule standards, Beckham, then a member of the New York Giants, took exception to it.
Williams denied accusations of wrongdoing not just in Cleveland, but in any of his many stops while speaking publicly on Friday.
“We haven’t done that anywhere where I’ve been,” Williams said, per Lewis. “We don’t do anything to hurt the team. It’s the No. 1 thing. We just don’t do it. You guys are cooperating by giving him attention. Just don’t give him attention. It is what it is.”
Williams has gained a reputation for accused dirty play throughout a lengthy NFL career. He was infamously involved in the New Orleans Saints’ “BountyGate” scandal which led to an indefinite suspension.
The suspension was lifted after Williams missed the entire 2012 season. He went on to become Cleveland’s defensive coordinator five years after his complete no-show and was the team’s interim head coach for the final eight games of 2018. The Browns went 5-3 in that span, allowing Williams to become the first Cleveland head coach to depart with a winning record since Marty Schottenheimer in 1988.
He further took shots at Beckham when a questioner brought up the receiver’s playmaking abilities.
“That’s your opinion. What’s New York’s opinion? The Giants’ opinion? What did the Giants do?”
To Williams’ point, the Giants traded Beckham to the Browns last spring in exchange for cornerback Jabrill Peppers plus a first and third-round draft pick. Beckham had previously earned 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in five seasons with the Giants, marks respectively good for second and fourth in the team’s record books.
Beckham earned 71 yards on seven receptions in his Cleveland debut, a 43-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.