Beckham has looked sharp at minicamp this week, just seven months removed from surgery for a torn ACL.
“ He looked really, really good. Says he is feeling better and feeling good,” Van Pelt told reporters on Wednesday. “I know he is working his butt off to be great. Really impressed with his ability to come back as quickly as he has. Ran some really good individual routes during the side periods. Got some really good work in. Good to see him back in the mix and feeling better.”
Beckham recorded 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns last season prior to the injury. The Browns found unique ways to get the ball in Beckham’s hands and obviously respected his abilities as a playmaker.
Odell Beckham Will Make Things ‘Easier’ For Browns
Following the injury to Beckham, the Browns offense began to hit its stride, which was more coincidence than anything. Baker Mayfield and the rest of the offense finally settled in after a tumultuous COVID-19 stricken offseason that didn’t make the transition the easiest.
As have the other Browns players and coaches have, Van Pelt rejected the notion that the team would somehow be a more explosive offense without Beckham in the lineup.
“Anytime you can add a dominant athlete back on the field in your offense, it is only going to help us,” Van Pelt said. “He is an elite player. Not having him out there, we had to fight and claw to continue to have offensive success. I know it is a lot easier when you have great players.”
Beckham did not participate in the final day of minicamp but Van Pelt said that was part of the plan due to his rehab schedule.
Van Pelt: Baker Mayfield Has Been Impressive
Beckham hasn’t been the only impressive figure at minicamp, with Mayfield also drawing positive reviews heading into a big year.
“He was impressive,” Van Pelt said of Mayfield. “There are a lot of areas and a lot of pass concepts that we wanted work on in this minicamp that maybe he did not completely own last year and wanted improvement in these plays. He has shown that. A lot of that is just working through progression and knowing where to go next if one and two are covered, and he got that accomplished in this camp. We are very happy with where he is right now.”
This was the first time Mayfield got to work with Van Pelt and the rest of the Browns coaches, with most of the offense not attending OTAs. However, Mayfield and the majority of his key pass-catchers met up in Texas and Florida this offseason for some training.
“I think we were able to accomplish everything we needed to. Now, it is great to be out there and doing some competition against the defense,” Mayfield said of the offseason workouts. “Obviously, a lot of seven-on-seven stuff, as you guys saw yesterday. Where we are right now, I feel good about it. Obviously, there is a ton of work to be had, but that is why it is only June.”
The Browns have a few valuable months left before opening the season on September 12 against the Chiefs.