OBJ dismisses criticism, says Giants' bond strong
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Odell Beckham Jr. is handling the criticism and outrage at his comments during an ESPN interview by brushing it off as little more than everyday noise. The New York Giants wide receiver has been under fire for his comments about quarterback Eli Manning, the state of the offense and more.
“Just chatter,” Beckham said on Tuesday. “Same approach every single day, get up, be the best that I can be. We’re moving forward. My teammates, my brothers, there’s nothing that can come in between us. We’ve had these conversations and like I said, we’re all moving forward onto Philly.”
Fellow wide receiver Sterling Shepard said he hasn’t heard any talk of the interview in the locker room this week outside of media availability. Not at all. The Giants (1-4) have limited time to prepare for Thursday night’s matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.
More than a handful of players told ESPN they hadn’t watched the full interview of Beckham and Lil Wayne alongside NFL Insider Josina Anderson. They didn’t intend to either.
“We’re not focused on that,” safety and team captain Michael Thomas said.
Lil Wayne did take to Instagram on Wednesday to express his displeasure with some of the reaction to the interview. He specifically took exception to comments made by Around the Horn panelist and The Athletic writer Frank Isola that questioned why Lil Wayne was next to Beckham for the interview. He also wasn’t especially pleased with Eli Manning’s joke Monday that he didn’t “watch Lil Wayne that much.”
Manning, Lil Wayne and Beckham are all Louisiana natives.
Beckham’s comments in the interview were enough to draw outrage from coach Pat Shurmur. Beckham felt the need to address his teammates on Saturday. He believes that was enough to put this issue to rest, especially after seeing an improved effort from the offense in a 33-31 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
“Yeah, I think we all understand each other,” Beckham said. “Like I said, there’s nothing that is going to come in between my brothers, my teammates. This is something that is going to pull us closer. I felt very close as a team this Sunday, and that’s the way that we have to play. That’s the way we’re going to fight.
“Nobody in here likes to lose. We’re all tired of losing. We want to change that culture, atmosphere, whatever it is, because this is a place that has a lot of pride and we want to be able to be proud of what we display and do all those things.”
While the Giants lost the Panthers in the final seconds Sunday, Beckham and Co. are still viewing their first 30-point game since the 2015 season as a step in the right direction.
“It was a big week for us. We took a big step,” Beckham said. “Unfortunately, we lost on a 63-yard field goal. If I had to lose on a 63-yard field goal, so be it. That’s impressive by that kicker to be able to do that with the game on the line and hit it. We’re taking steps in the right direction.”
Beckham believes this week is their chance to reshape the season. The Giants, despite a 1-4 start, are 1 1/2 games out of the NFC East lead as no team in the division has a winning record.