How a Trip to Phoenix Got Rams WR Odell Beckham Back on Track

Odell Beckham

Getty Odell Beckham stretches out before the Rams took on the Buccaneers during their Sunday, January 23 playoff game.

October 25, 2020: The date that changed the trajectory of Odell Beckham‘s career long before he joined the Los Angeles Rams.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, then with the Cleveland Browns and once considered a prized free agent pickup by the franchise during the 2019 season, had planted his foot awkwardly and ended up leaving his game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

The following day, Beckham and the Browns were linked to this devastating news for both parties.

What followed from there was a publicized split between Beckham and the Browns during the 2021 season, plus Beckham needing to clear waivers before finding his new NFL home.

Now, one Google or Twitter search of Beckham, and you’ll likely come across how he’s become a star for the NFC champs or how he scored an 84.3 Pro Football Focus grade during the playoffs.

Plus, you’ll also likely come across this tweet from OBJ on his personal account:

But how was a man nearing the prime years of his career able to overcome his knee setback? Especially involving a devastating injury that not only robs NFL players of their former leg strength, but can threaten careers by potentially robbing players of their speed and agility moving forward?

One trip to the desert, and at a facility where Beckham began his early NFL rigors, got the “Ferrari” as one performance specialist described him in a conversation with Heavy to regain his acceleration again.

Destination: Exos

Beckham spent his early part of his NFL career lifting and running at Exos: A state-of-the-art performance facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

Draft Ready: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSUOdell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU, is ready to hear his name called in the 2014 NFL Draft after preparing for the Combine and his Pro Day at EXOS. Founded in 1999 as a training facility for professional and elite athletes, EXOS (formerly Athletes' Performance) provides training, nutrition, and physical therapy programs from six locations across…2014-05-07T13:57:35Z

Right after his injury, he needed a place to reclaim what he lost. And that’s where Graeme Lauriston, Nic Hill and Exos entered the picture for Beckham when he began his rehab in November 2020.

Both men specialized in getting OBJ back on track — Lauriston linking up with him first for his NFL combine prep before Hill took over Beckham’s comeback pursuit.

“He definitely came in with the mindset of rebuilding not just the ACL, but everything else,” Hill told Heavy.

While Lauriston’s training helped get Beckham to become the breakout wideout that he became early on with the New York Giants, Hill says Lauriston referred OBJ to Hill after his ACL tear.

“As soon as the injury happened, it was more of a conversation between Graeme and “O” to say ‘Hey, I want you to come work with my guy Nick in Arizona.’ He pushed ‘O’ to come out to Arizona and be focused in one location during the entire rehab. And he was up for it,” Hill said.

What Workouts Got OBJ Back on Track?

Hill said Beckham did the “traditional ACL rehab,” which can include knee extensions and half squats. But, there was a big one Hill zeroed in on.

“Making sure he gets his quad strength back and kind of rebuild the quad itself to kind of get its girth,” Hill explained. “Anytime you have the injury, the attribute will kick in and you’ll start to lose some muscle mass.”

Hill also got Beckham to improve his balance from left to right. One key workout: Single leg squats on a certain leg.

“On his healthy leg, he was doing single leg squats with a safety handle,” Hill said.

But balancing wasn’t the only challenge for OBJ. So was what was placed behind him.

“He had 405 pounds on his back,” Hill described. “And he’s doing a single leg squat on his healthy leg which was to help push his recovery.”

It’s a mentally and physically challenging workout from the sound of it, plus for someone rehabbing from an ACL tear. But as Hill points out: “Anytime you’re doing that type of lifting, you are stressing your system but you’re also sending massive amounts of different recovery hormones and whatnot to the rest of your body, which is going to help heal that injured side a little bit faster.”

OBJ Since Then

Here’s the numbers Beckham has since put out after returning from his ACL injury, all per Pro Football Reference:

Beckham’s epic NFC title game outing even led to him hitting some dance moves:

But Beckham’s comeback would have never been made possible if he didn’t take that Phoenix trip and head to the place where he began his NFL training, then re-training.

“He trusted us,” Hill said. “And we built a great relationship.”

Now, the “Ferrari” is ready to go one more time with Super Bowl Sunday on February 13 versus the Bengals coming.

“I mean, he’s a Ferrari. He had a little bit of a bad alignment and had a flat tire. So we fixed the tire and cleaned up the alignment, then just let him go. And it’s showing now,” Hill said.

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