There are very few wide receivers in the NFL that can do what Odell Beckham Jr. does on game days.
The hyper-athletic LSU-product has made a name for himself with his ability to get open and pull of video game like moves — his legendary one handed grab in 2015 being at the top of the list.
Over the span of Beckham’s first five years in the league, he’s been among the league’s best pass-catchers. He’s hauled in 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games.
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It’s hard to find a wide receiver that can put up the numbers like Beckham on the field, but there are also very few NFL players that can reproduce the ruckus that comes with being OBJ off of it.
After being traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns this offseason, Beckham was the target of criticism when he missed all but one of the teams optional organized team activities, also known as OTAs.
Once the star arrived at mandatory minicamp last week and he, along with head coach Freddie Kitchens, poured cold water on the hot takes.
“Everybody knows their body. I know my body better than anybody else,” Beckham said, adding he was in contact communication with Kitchens. “I know what it takes to get me in top physical condition, mental and all of those things. This isn’t my first rodeo. It is not my first go-round. I just know what it takes to get there.”
Kitchens echoed his wide receiver’s sentiments, and didn’t sound worried about Beckham’s progress.
“He’s smart,’’ Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said. “It is not like this is the first time he’s opened up our book. He’s been studying and all that kind of stuff. Odell is making progress just like everybody else. Odell had some bad plays, and he had some good plays. Odell doesn’t have a magic wand. He’s going to come out and he is going to work. We just need a little bit of improvement every day.”
It was much ado about nothing — but Beckham’s used to it by now. While some of it is indeed self-inflicted, that’s the world he lives in. Sneeze the wrong way at it’ll end up a headline: Odell Beckham Jr. Disrespects A Kleenex.
“I don’t think anybody really knows what it’s like to be me but me, and what I go through on a daily basis,” Beckham said to reporters. “I feel like I’m in a way different position than anybody else in the NFL. I feel like I deal with more. People bring up my past. I take more (but) I’ve never been in trouble. I’ve never been in cuffs. I’ve never really had a speeding ticket.”
A change of scenery might help Beckham, who goes from one of the busiest cities in the world with bloodthirsty media to Cleveland.
Beckham has acknowledged Browns have a chance to do something special this season, and he wants to help the squad earn a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2002, or even bring back a banner to the long-struggling fan base.
If Beckham can keep his head down, and further help with the culture shift in Cleveland, the narrative that follows him should also being to shift in his favor.