Throughout much of his NFL career, Odell Beckham Jr. has been a loose spirit, free to his own whims and fancies. Much to the consternation of his coaches with the New York Giants, Beckham has gone to the beat of his own drummer and rarely seems tethered to authority.
But now set to enter his fourth year in the NFL, Beckham says that his journey has taken him to a good place in his career and development.
Beckham has drawn ire of Giants fans, as well as some in the media, for his outbursts on the field and some questionable decisions off of it, things that have yet to affect his production on the field for the Giants. He’s topped 1,000 receiving yards his first three seasons in the NFL, made the Pro Bowl three times and be named an All-Pro twice, all while garnering a reputation as the game’s top young wide receiver. The question has never been about talent but rather maturity.
A question which Beckham says is now settled.
“I’m just in a different place, I don’t even know how to explain it,” Beckham said. “I don’t even feel like I’m here sometimes. My mind is just out of that. But like I said, just trying to get better each and every day. We talk about it, one percent. So, what can I do to get one percent better than yesterday? And that’s obviously the goal. If you stayed the same, you didn’t get better at all. And if you’re not getting better, that’s not why I’m here. So like I said, I’m just trying to get better.
“Life. You get older, you grow, things happen, incidents and things changing. So, I think it’s just growth, which is a good thing. I feel like we all can grow and the moment you stop growing, you’re not really getting any better as well.”
If he can mature, if he can cease from being a liability or losing his cool in games, then the Giants have a weapon unlike any other in the NFL.
Beckham of course made his mark earlier in his career with a one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys in a nationally televised game on Sunday night. Since then he’s had other remarkable moments including more one-handed grabs.
He even dazzles in practice and before games with one-handed catches, seemingly showing off. He admits that using one hand can actually help him as he uses his other hand for leverage or balance.
As is becoming typical of him, he made another one-handed catch on Monday’s training camp practice.
“Honestly, today before any of it happened, I told them what I was going to do and it just happened," he said. "I feel like yesterday – I told the receivers in the room, I said, ‘I don’t know what happened, I just kind of clicked out.’ Like I said, I’m in a different place right now and he threw the ball and I was like, ‘I’ve seen this before.’ It felt like it was like a dream. Just being able to have that confidence and come down with those plays. I try and bring a lot of energy to this team, especially to my wide receiver room.”