By all accounts, both Odell Beckham Jr. and the team he plays for, the New York Giants, had a great season. Big Blue made the playoffs for the first time in five years, while Odell posted another stellar individual campaign, earning his third straight season of at least 1,300 yards, catching 101 passes for 1,367 yard and 10 touchdowns.
However, despite the individual and group success of both OBJ and the G-Men, the season wasn’t without turmoil. There were those early season struggles when Odell bitched and moaned to the media that he didn’t love the game anymore. There was that whole saga with the kicking net, and the time he wore Joker gloves. And finally, there was Boat Gate, where Odell was snapped on a Miami boat with what appeared to be a blunt in his hand the week before the Giants’ first playoff game.
Point is, this past season will be remembered more for Beckham’s antics than the Giants’ success, and that in and of itself is an issue.
Apparently, the team’s General Manager Jerry Reese, who is normally a soft-spoken guy, has seen enough, telling the press it’s time for Odell to “grow up.”
via Sporting News:
“I see a guy who needs to think about some of the things that he does,” Reese said. “Everybody knows that he’s a gifted player, but there have been some things that he’s done that he needs to look himself in the mirror and be honest with himself about some of the things that he’s done. […]
“We all have had to grow up in different times in our lives,” he said. “I think it’s time for him to do that. He’s been here for three years now. He’s a little bit of a lightning rod because of what he does on the football field, but the things he does off the football field, he has to be responsible for those things. We’ll talk through it and I believe — I know — he’s a smart guy. I believe he understands he has a responsibility being one of the faces of this franchise. I think he’ll accept that responsibility.”
Gotta agree with Reese (and essentially every other football talking head) on this one. The fact is, Odell’s antics may not be ‘bad’ in the grand scheme of things, but because of the 24-hour-news-cycle culture that we live in, anything and everything he does is going to be amplified and vilified. Until he gets that in his head, until he understands that he does not make the rules, Odell is never going to live up to his entire potential.