Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. recently took a step back and reflected on his days with his former team, the New York Giants.
He was a global star. Everyone knew who he was.
From the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award to the acrobatic catches, Odell Beckham Jr. shined while in East Rutherford.
It was never perfect though, especially towards the end of his New York Giants tenure.
This week, the current Cleveland Browns receiver, who’s nursing a torn ACL suffered in October, reflected on his time with Big Blue and revealed where exactly it went wrong.
Odell Beckham Jr. admits that it bothered him that the Giants failed to build around Eli Manning, and felt the Giants weren't building an organization during his time there. #TogetherBlue pic.twitter.com/PQwHbUYk7E
— WBG84 (@WBG84) December 8, 2020
“I never thought that I would play for another team besides the Giants,” Beckham told Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden of CBS Sports’ “All Things Covered” podcast. “I never wanted to win a championship for anybody more than the Giants. It just was such a legendary place, I was very proud to be a part of that organization.
“I’m gonna tell you where I ran into trouble. I felt like they never put people around Eli. I know I got a lot of [expletive] when I talked bad on Eli and I never once said a bad thing. If anything, I just speak the truth. The only thing I can look back on and be like ‘Man, I regret saying that’ is saying he’s not the same player even though it’s the truth.”
Of course, Eli Manning wasn’t the same player. A two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback was declining with age during that specific time period. Many fans wished for the organization to draft a quarterback and eventually move off of him, which it did with the 2019 selection of Daniel Jones.
But what Beckham is saying about how the organization didn’t provide Eli with assistance is also true.
It wasn’t really the offensive weapons that were the main issue, but more so the line. That unit was below-average for the better part of five seasons, and the Giants seemed to ignore that most years when the first round of the draft came along. They selected tackle Ereck Flowers — a well-known bust — in the first round of the 2015 draft and then didn’t address that position in a first round again until 2020. In April, the organization selected Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall.
In regard to the later seasons with Beckham in East Rutherford — 2017 and 2018, to be exact — it wasn’t just the players or front office decisions that led to consistent losing, but the coaching as well. Pat Shurmur, hired in 2018, was an obvious poor choice for the head coaching role, winning just nine games in two years.
Later in the podcast, OBJ spoke on his past relationship with Shurmur and the true effects that came along with it.
“You know, we got a new coach in there, and I feel like that’s a situation I can be honest about now because people have come out, and it’s like anonymous coaches, but we really know who it was,” Beckham said. “I felt betrayed in a sense, like this coach tried to turn me against my brothers and my people and was telling the young guys to stay away because I’m not a good person or not a good teammate or role model or this or that.”
Beckham’s second season in Cleveland is prematurely over, and it’s unclear what his future holds after the Browns gave up a pair of draft picks and Jabrill Peppers in order to acquire him back in 2019.