Odell Beckham Jr. said a lot of things during his media session at Cleveland Browns minicamp, but one of the more intriguing comments the star wide receiver made pertained to his quarterback situation.
When asked about what it was like to catch balls from Baker Mayfield, OBJ noted that it was a entirely different experience for him.
“I’m going to have to get adjusted to the speed because he has an arm,” Beckham told reporters. “He’s throwing that ball hard. Just catching him from the first day, it was like, ‘Wow! This is completely different.’ It just takes time.”
Many construed that as a shot at his former quarterback, Eli Manning.
Beckham’s frustrations in New York were well documented and were linked to an aging Manning, whose diminished skill set limited what Beckham could do on the field.
“Like I said, I feel like he’s not going to get out the pocket. He’s not — we know Eli’s not running it,” he said in an interview with ESPN last season. “But is it a matter of time issue? Can he still throw it, yeah, but it’s been pretty safe and it’s been, you know, cool catching shallow and trying to take it to the house. But I’m, you know, I want to go over the top of somebody.”
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Giants running back Saquon Barkley was asked about what he thought of Beckham’s comments this week.
“I saw his comments. I don’t think Odell was making a shot at Eli or anybody,” Barkley told SNY’s Jonas Schwartz. “You have to get used to a new quarterback.”
Barkley also added that the current crop of Giants are getting sick of answering questions about someone no longer team, or even in the conference.
“Odell was such an iconic figure here in New York,” Barkley said. “Obviously a lot of people were devastated outside when he was traded and he’s Odell. He’s one of the faces of football, one of the faces of the NFL. He’s gonna continue to be talked about. At the end of the day, we just gotta focus on the Giants. He’s gonna focus on the Browns.”
Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley Have History
Along with being former teammates, Beckham and Barkley are friends and recently starred in Nike’s ad “Dominate All Dimensions.”
The teams are not scheduled to play each other this season, unless they manage to make it to the Super Bowl — a matchup nobody is currently predicting.
Beckham will have some time to adjust to Mayfield’s throws. As he pointed out, the Browns don’t play a game that counts until September and he plans to get in some work with Baker on the West Coast.
“We have a lot of time to build chemistry,” he said. “We’re both going to be in LA, throwing every day, going over the plays, going over the nuances, the little stuff above the X’s and O’s.”
Over the span of Beckham’s first five years in the league, he’s caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games. He should see those numbers spike if he can Mayfield can get on the same page this offseason.