Odell Beckham Jr. has cut back on the tantrum-throwing, which may have helped the Giants on their recent six-game winning streak. Of course, it also helps that Beckham, who was held scoreless through the first four games of the season, found the end zone eight times over his next seven games.
Yes, Beckham, undeniably, is one of the best receivers in the game, but one must wonder why his teammates, as far as we know, haven’t called him out or set him straight.
“Emotion is a part of this game, and I think he’s one of the more emotional guys I’ve ever played with,” Giants offensive guard Justin Pugh said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He realizes that he’s got to keep himself in check, but sometimes when you have the camera on you at all times – and they’re always trying to point out one little thing you’re doing – it definitely is tough and it gets frustrating. I don’t think a lot of people realize what he has to go through on a daily basis or what his life’s like.”
To be fair, though, Beckham brings a lot of this on himself. Pugh, however, insists Beckham’s antics aren’t a distraction.
“No, it doesn’t distract us,” he said. “When I come off the field, I’m right to my offensive line coach worrying about what I have to focus on. If it’s something that him and his coach deal with, that’s what happens when you come off the field. You got to talk to your position coach. I’m worried about what I have to do and getting my job done and the offensive line job’s done to make sure we’re going in the right direction.”
Beckham, despite a quiet first quarter of the season, has 75 catches for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns with four games to go. He ranks among the top five in the league in all three categories.
“I think we definitely have to make sure we spread the ball around because obviously teams are going to be double-covering him and trying to take him out of the game and getting into his head,” Pugh said. “I think he definitely has to do a good job of making sure we put the team first. But Odell wants to win more than anybody. He wants to go out there and win those games, and all of us want to do that. So making sure we eliminate any penalties, anything that’s going to hurt the team, I think he obviously realizes that he has to do that, too. And obviously getting better and maturing in that aspect will definitely help him out.”
As for the Giants, they must now do something they haven’t had to do since Week 5: regroup after a loss. New York fell, 24-14, in Pittsburgh this past Sunday to snap a six-game winning streak.
“It was definitely tough,” Pugh said. “Hats off to them. They played a great game. We dug ourselves a hole a little too early. We had the safety, then we had that pick – you get behind the 8-ball against a good team, it’s hard to come back from. But I think we flushed that game, we’ve moved on to Dallas and we got to make sure we keep going because these next four games are huge for our season.”
The Giants host the Cowboys (11-1) this Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET. New York beat Dallas, 20-19, in Week 1. The Cowboys haven’t lost since.
“We know them,” Pugh said. “We’ve played them and we know what they’re bringing to the table. Obviously they have some emerging young stars that have been doing some great stuff for them, so obviously stopping the run is the No. 1 thing. Because that offensive line, that running game, is very, very good. That’s got to be the focus of our defense. And our offense, if we put points on the board, it puts them in an awkward position because they really haven’t been down all too much in this 11-(game) run they’ve been on.”