Odell Beckham Jr. spent most of the fourth quarter on the sideline without his helmet or cleats within reach as the clock ticked away in the Cleveland Browns’ 38-7 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Beckham gave a rah-rah speech to the offense early in the third quarter, but he was also caught tossing his helmet and gloves, walking around without cleats and punching a water cooler — things a bit over the top for an NFL sideline.
Beckham finished the game two catches for 25 yards as the offense as a whole struggled to do anything. While Beckham’s passion can sometimes be mistaken for an outburst, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski clearly felt his wide receiver went a little too far.
“He wants to win very badly. His teammates know that. He’s a passionate football player,” Stefanski said while talking to reporters on Monday. “He gets frustrated in a game like that, just like the rest of us do. That’s what a chalk it up to. He’s going to work very hard this week to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Browns Teammates Defend Beckham’s Actions
Beckham wasn’t the only one who had a frustrating day. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has been dealing with a chest injury, was pulled late in the third quarter after struggling to get anything done and taking a pounding from the Steelers defense.
“We are all very frustrated. We want to win,” Mayfield said. “We do not come out here just to get stats and do all that. We come out here to win. It is a frustrating loss for us knowing that we just did not play well and let a great team capitalize on all those mistakes that we made. We are all frustrated.”
Jarvis Landry, who said Beckham tried to spark the team at half with a passionate speech, had a similar take.
“We’re all invested,” Landry said. “We’re all invested and I think the thing for us is we’ve got to figure out a way – as a team, as a group – he brought us all together as a leader of the team right before halftime and just kind of talked in positive messaging and trying to get us going because we couldn’t get in any type of rhythm.”
Offensive lineman Jack Conklin also came to Beckham’s defense on Monday when asked about his actions.
“Odell’s a competitor,” Conklin said. “He was. trying to get the whole offense going. He stepped up as a leader.”
Browns Still in Good Position, Despite Loss
Things have not been pretty in the AFC North for the Browns, who beat the Bengals but got thoroughly dominated by the Ravens and Steelers by a combined score of 76-13.
But the Browns are still in a good position at 4-2 and have a chance to get things right against the Bengals next Sunday. In fact, the Browns have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL the rest of the way, per ESPN, which could help them break a 17-season playoff drought.
“You can’t let it linger,” Stefanski said in a postgame Zoom call. “You have to learn from it and move on. We’ll watch the tape, learn from it and move on. That’s the simple answer. You can’t dwell on these things.”
The Browns face the Raiders, Texans, Eagles and Jaguars in their next four games before seeing the Titans and Ravens.