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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had a rough day last Sunday.
Though he generally got the better of Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman in their anticipated rematch, the Giants lost the game and Beckham had several big plays and chances to score called back because of teammates’ penalties or turnovers.
Beckham was seen on the sideline throwing his helmet, screaming, and even hitting the kicking net before it fell back on him. The spectacle was intensified when it appeared Beckham was crying on the sidelines in frustration.
On Monday, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo had a fairly straight-forward response to the reaction, saying Beckham needs to keep his emotions in check.
“He needs to control his emotions better and become less of a distraction to himself and to his teammates,” McAdoo said. “It’s our job to help him with that process and maturing.”
However, Beckham had a different response on Thursday when asked if he needs to control his emotions (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan).
“Nah, I’m not really … I’m in a great place right now. Mentally, physically, spiritually, there is not really much that bothers me at all, to be honest. So I’m going to go out and play football the only way I’ve ever known how to play, try my best to be the best teammate you possibly can.”
He then seemed to take a slight jab at McAdoo, saying that he’s primarily playing for his teammates, not the coaching staff or anyone else.
“At the end of the day, you play for the guys that wear the jersey. They’re the ones who take the field with you, who you share the blood, sweat and tears with. I’m just going to go out and be who I am.”
According to Raanan, when presented with McAdoo’s comments, Beckham said, “He said, she said. I’m not really concerned about anything but the Minnesota Vikings.”
The difference in opinion obviously isn’t a big deal in the long run, but it’s surprising to see Beckham be upfront in his disagreement. Some of it could be frustration from both the loss and Beckham’s tepid start to this season, where he’s yet to find the back of the end zone.
Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had perhaps the most measured take on it, saying:
“I told him to continue to be you. Never lose that fire. But on the sideline there are a bunch of guys and they’re already down and, if a guy looks at you the way we look at you as a leader, keep it in control until we get to the locker room. Throw your helmet all across the locker room so nobody can see. That’s fine. In an atmosphere like [the sideline during a game], keep your cool.”
Beckham isn’t a subdued player, but if the Giants offense struggles again – and they face a monstrous Vikings defense in Week 4 – Beckham’s sideline reactions, and McAdoo’s, may be something to watch.