Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t miss a beat on the first day of Cleveland Browns minicamp.
The man with some of the most ridiculous hands in the world looked to be in midseason form as he hauled in passes from Baker Mayfield at the team’s first mandatory offseason workouts.
OBJ’s incredible footwork, explosive ability and dynamic route running ability was on display all afternoon. He even caught a touchdown pass from his new QB.
The Beckham-Baker connection will have to be among the catalysts for the Browns to win the AFC North for the first time in three decades.
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens’ assessment of OBJ’s first day at minicamp might have been an understatement.
“Odell looked good – moved around good, in good shape, picking up the offense,” Kitchens said.
The intensity was not cranked up to 11 for Tuesday’s practice, but Cleveland corner T.J. Carrie simply had no chance on this play and probably came away relieved that No. 13 is on his side now.
Last year in the New York Giant’s anemic Eli Manning-led offense, Beckham managed 77 catches on 80 catchable targets for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns, according to PFF. He did that playing in just 12 games.
Now with Mayfield tossing him the ball and a crew of talented, young wide receivers around him to minimize double teams, OBJ should put up All-Pro type numbers.
The Browns are installing a new offense this season under the direction of coordinator Todd Monken, who came over from Tampa Bay in the offseason. While with the Bucs, Monken helped build the best passing offense in the league.
Kitchens will still call the plays, but Monken’s offense philosophy sounds like something Beckham can get behind.
“I like having fun. I don’t know why it has to feel like such drudgery all the time,” Monken said. “Who needs more 5-yard plays? How can we be explosive? That’s what the game is about, man. People like big plays. I like big plays.”
Kitchens maintained that Beckham missed “a lot” by attending only one of nine of the Browns OTAs, but doesn’t think learning the offense will be a problem.
“He didn’t really miss as much as you really think because he’s been studying every night just like these other guys,” Kitchens said. “He just hasn’t been here … He felt it more compatible for his body to get in good shape and be at the best he could be when he got here. Would I have like him here? Yes. No doubt. I want everybody here. But he didn’t have to be here, it’s voluntary.’’
Beckham is expected to speak to the media for the first time at minicamp on Wednesday.