Odell Beckham Jr. is feeling good after a successful minicamp, the latest bright spot in the Cleveland Browns star’s return from an ACL tear.
Beckham’s debut at Browns minicamp was met with rave reviews from his teammates and coaches. He supplied his own reaction from the successful three-day stint on social media.
“When ur energy’s right, everything else falls into place…” Beckham wrote in the post, which feature a diamond in his tooth.
Beckham hasn’t had the best of times since arriving in Cleveland two offseason ago. He dealt with a bevy of injuries during his first season with the Browns, limiting the amount he could practice and build chemistry with Baker Mayfield. Beckham managed to rack up 1,035 yards on 74 catches with four touchdowns, but the numbers were still far off of the expectations set forth for him when he arrived via trade.
Before the ACL tear last season, Beckham recorded 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
“He looked good to me,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said in a video call with reporters when asked about Beckham. “He did some individual drills and did some routes on air. He’s still progressing.”
Browns Make it Clear: We’re Better With Odell Beckham
There has been lots of scuttlebutt about the fact that the Browns are somehow better about Beckham, with certain cherry-picked numbers without context serving as evidence.
Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt explained the situation while speaking to reporters on Thursday, the final day of minicamp.
“I think Baker was better as the season went on, whether there had been Odell or not still out there,” Van Pelt told reporters. “He started to understand the offense more and understand what we were asking him, got his footwork right. He got better, regardless of who was on the field. As I said earlier, you are always better with great players. Anytime you take a great player off of the field, you are going to have to find ways to generate more offense. We will be better with Odell, no doubt.”
Van Pelt expects the mere presence of Beckham to open up opportunities for the Browns’ other receivers, which everyone will benefit from.
“Anytime you have a great athlete, you see a lot of coverage roll to that player,” Van Pelt said. “That kind of went away when Odell was injured. That opens it up for other players to be successful. It is not always great to be double teamed all of the time, but sometimes, that is going to happen when you are great. I would expect teams to have to honor Odell, and potentially at times, put two guys on him.”
Baker Mayfield Preparing for Crucial Season
Mayfield will welcome back Beckham with open arms as he gears up for the most crucial season of his NFL career. The Browns picked up Mayfield’s fifth-year option but still have to make a decision on his long-term future in Cleveland. If Mayfield looks like the quarterback at the end of last season that led the Browns to their first playoff win in over a quarter-century, there should be no problem.
“I have bet on myself my whole life,” Mayfield told reporters. “I have always taken it one day at a time and one play at a time. Like I said, I am not going to handle it any differently now.”
Beckham is expected to be ready for training camp and Week 1 of the regular season, when the Browns visit the Chiefs.