To put it simply, it’s been tough sledding of late for Odell Beckham Jr.
The Cleveland Browns star wide receiver is going through the toughest stretch of his career, collecting just four catches over his last two games for less than 50 yards.
With the Browns sitting a 2-3, things have not gone as planned since the three-time Pro Bowler landed in Cleveland. While the Browns are still firmly in the chase for their first AFC North title in 30 years and a playoff berth, the team is at a crossroads, with a pair of tough games against the Seahawks and Patriots sandwiching a bye week.
“Right now, the season can go either way,” Beckham told reporters Thursday. “We’re at that fork in the road and it’s funny we’re all having these conversations whereas this team might have been 1-4, 0-5 and now we’re all upset because we’re 2-3 so that’s a good mindset that we have that we’ re 2-3 and we know that we’re capable of doing more, it’s just about doing more.”
After his limited impact so far, Beckham clearly wants to do more and his frustrations seemed to boil over this week for the first time.
“I hate losing period, so anytime we lose and I don’t feel like I did anything to help win the game I’m going to be frustrated,” he said. “It’s just the bottom line. I’m a winner in my heart and I hate losing.”
Odell Beckham Wants More on His Plate
Beckham understands that quarterback Baker Mayfield is dealing with his own set of issues, being torn down on a national scale after a series of poor performances, the latest in a 31-3 loss to the 49ers on Monday where he finished with 100 yards and a quarterback rating of 13.4. Mayfield also leads the league in interceptions thrown (8) and his QB rating is much closer to Jets third-stringer Luke Falk than it is Tom Brady.
Understanding that, Beckham is asking for a bigger role to take some of the pressure off Mayfield.
“Take something off his plate,’’ Beckham said. “I’m more than happy to take something off his plate and put it on me. I can take it. I can handle all this stuff, so just put it on me and see what happens.
“I care for this game period, so whether I’m emotional during the game or whatever, it’s because I care, so like I say, I’m a big boy. I can handle any criticism, any words that are said about me, anything. I’ll take more on my plate, I’ll take that responsibility 10 times out of 10.”
Browns Plan to Get Odell Beckham More Involved in Offense
The targets have not been there for OBJ, garnering just six last week against the Niners. Browns coach and offensive play-caller Freddie Kitchens has tried some different things to get the ball in Beckham’s hands, but nothing has truly manifested from those plays other than a near deep bomb that was dropped by Damion Ratley.
Beckham’s good buddy and fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry some thoughts on how to spice things up.
“We have to just deliberately get him the ball. Get all of our playmakers the ball. Guys that are going to make plays for us, just get them the ball,” Landry said. “I’m not calling plays or designing anything. But at the end of the day, obviously he’s a key part of our offense whether the ball’s in his hands or not. We’ve got to find ways for other guys to continue to make plays. But the way that it’s been going, we haven’t really been making enough plays without him touching the ball.”
The Browns will try again to get the offense going agains the Seahawks on Sunday.