Beckham learning to deal with all the extra attention
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) After a monster rookie season, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has become a marked man.
If he is not getting double teamed, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is seeing a myriad of defenses every game. He also has taken his fair share of hits, and not handled them all well.
This past Sunday in Buffalo was one of those mistakes. After Eli Manning threw a fourth-quarter interception, Beckham was knocked off his feet by Bills safety Duke Williams on the return.
On videotape of the play, Beckham clearly threw a jab at Williams. He was not penalized, but he admitted on Wednesday that he was fined by the league. He plans to appeal.
Beckham talked to coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese about the incident Wednesday. He said both told him to keep playing his game, which is known to include a bit trash talking.
The 22-year-old Beckham, who set NFL records with 115 catches for 1,612 yards in his first 16 games, realizes he has become a target for opponents. There are little extra shots on many plays and it would be easy to retaliate.
”It’s tough to walk the line,” he said. ”You know that they’re out there targeting you and they’re trying to do things to you, as much as somebody wants to say that they’re not, they are, and that’s just the case. Like I said, we’re out there to play football and that’s all I came here to do, to play football and do whatever this team needs.”
The Giants like the way Beckham plays. He goes hard and it’s not just catching the ball. He blocks and doesn’t complain when all the attention he gets opens things up for other players.
”He’s very competitive, very energetic,” Coughlin said. ”He would have blocked the safety on the long run, the long pass and run after the catch if in fact Rashad (Jennings) wasn’t able to avoid him. He was right there.”
Despite all the attention, Beckham leads the Giants with 24 catches for 307 yard and two touchdowns.
While some people think Beckham is cocky, he insists he is just confident.
”People who know me know I came here to play football. I love football, there’s nothing more to it than that,” he said. ”I just love this game. I’m very confident in my ability. I know what I’ve been given, I know my responsibilities that I have.”
After the Giants’ 24-10 win on Sunday, a couple of Bills criticized Beckham for being a ”prima donna.”
Beckham didn’t care on Wednesday. His focus was on a game against San Francisco on Sunday.
”It’s whatever, man,” Beckham said. ”It’s football, we’re playing football. I’m not worried about the Bills, they’re in the past. We beat them last week.”
NOTES: Linebacker Devon Kinnard (hamstring) was among six Giants who didn’t practice Wednesday. Also out were defensive ends Robert Ayers (hamstring) and George Selvie (calf); cornerbacks Jayron Holsey (concussion) and Trumaine McBride (groin); and receiver Victor Cruz (calf). Tight end Jerome Cunningham (knee) was limited, while tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) and defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (knee) practiced. .. Wide receiver Myles White was signed off the practice squad with tight end Daniel Fells (staph infection) going on injured reserve.
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