After being in the headlines for most of the week thanks to rampant trade speculation, Odell Beckham Jr. is motivated to put on a show Thursday night.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver took to social media to voice his thoughts following the busy week.
“Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise,” Beckham wrote on Instagram.
WFAN radio host Mike Francesa started the trade talk, tweeting out: “I hear Browns, who are clueless, looking to trade Odell. They are asking a lot. I don’t often defend Beckham, but he isn’t the problem.” The
I hear Browns, who are clueless, looking to trade Odell
— Mike Francesa (@MikeFrancesa) September 15, 2020
Odell Beckham Hungry for Redemption
Beckham didn’t miss a game last season, but played through multiple injuries during his first season in Cleveland, most notably to his hip and groin. He had core surgery this offseason and predicted this year would be one of the best of his career.
“I would honestly say this is probably going to be one of my best seasons — bigger, stronger, faster,” Beckham said in a video documenting his rehab. “This my time.”
The season did not start out on a high note. Beckham managed just three catches for 22 yards on a team-high 10 targets in the Browns 38-6 loss to the Ravens in Week 1. The yardage total was the second-lowest of his career and he looked throughly out of rhythm with quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“I’ve never played quarterback, so it’s very hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” Beckham said. “As a receiver, you’re like ‘man, I’m open!’ or this or that, and that’s just not feasible for me to think about what he may be going through back there or if there’s pressure or if there’s things going on.
Odell, on how to get it going with Baker: "More game reps." pic.twitter.com/MjP1xrkLf7
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 15, 2020
“I know there’s a lot on his plate. I know that none of us played the way that we would have wanted to play on Sunday. You kind of just have to give your hats off to the Ravens. They came out there, they were the better team, they beat the [expletive] out of us and we keep it pushing.”
Beckham believes that if he’s involved early in the offense, it’ll help him find his stride.
“It’s like a shooter putting up a couple 3s early and you hit one, two of them, like, God knows you might drop 60, you know what I mean?” Beckham said. “I would love to get involved early, but it just didn’t go that way Sunday. And like I said, you’ve got to give your hats off to the other team sometimes. They just came out and they just played better than us.”
Joe Burrow Excited for First ‘Battle of Ohio’
The Bengals took Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft and he’ll get his first taste of the AFC North against the Browns.
Burrow was solid in his debut against the Chargers, despite not finding the end zone for a passing score. Burrow completed 22-of-36 passes for 193 yards and an interception. He also ran in a touchdown in the loss. Burrow, an Ohio native, is excited for his first ‘Battle of Ohio.’
“I did watch it. I didn’t excessively watch the NFL when I grew up, but I do know the history behind it and how Mr. Brown’s father started the Browns and then started the Bengals as well” Burrow told reporters. “I’m excited to play in the game. I’m excited for my first one.”
Bengals head coach Zach Taylor, who is in his second season, is ready for an AFC North matchup. The Bengals won just two games last season, but one was against the Browns.
“We don’t really like anybody in our division, so all these games have added importance,” Taylor told reporters “That’s the key to getting where we want to go — we want to win the division. This is our first opportunity this season. We’re only going to get six of them. So yeah, I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of love in the locker room for these guys. That gets us through the week of practice.”
The Browns are 6-point favorites for the Week 2 matchup.