Mike McCarthy doesn’t think that perception is reality when it comes to Odell Beckham Jr. and his recent string of emotional breakdowns, the latest coming Monday night in a lopsided loss at the Minnesota Vikings. The Green Bay Packers head coach still praised the New York Giants wideout on Wednesday despite increased scrutiny over some very public outbursts.
It will be McCarthy and his Packers who will try to neutralize Beckham, the wide receiver who is coming off a four catch, 23-yard performance in Week 4. It was the worst receiving game of his career and included a couple times where he again lost his cool.
The juvenile outbursts are now their own talking point and a serious distraction for a 2-2 team that has now lost consecutive games. National media has focused on this creating a distraction for a team that desperately needs a win.
“Well, I think first thing is that anytime you are on the outside looking in, perception and reality, there is usually a big gap between that,” McCarthy said on Wednesday in a conference call with the New York media. “I think you have to be in tune with the fact that emotion is a big part of our game and he is a tremendous young player and Ben is an excellent communicator, so I think internally, it is not what it may seem externally.”
When his head is in the game, Beckham is an elite wide receiver. But two weeks ago in a loss at the Washington Redskins, Beckham lost his cool on the sidelines. Now after Monday night’s theatrics it is a worrisome trend that the two-time All-Pro is seemingly becoming a liability to his team.
It will be telling to see which Beckham – the superstar or the crybaby – shows up this weekend at the Packers.
“He is an excellent player. He was part of our offseason study. We are very impressed with what he has done and it is no different this year. He obviously gets a lot of attention and rightfully so,” McCarthy said. “You can see the respect that the first four opponents had for him just based on the way they have played him, so he is an excellent talent and is definitely a playmaker.”