CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Odell Beckham Jr. finds himself one again in the spotlight after the Browns got blown out in Baltimore 38-6 Sunday.
Beckham caught just 3 of 10 targets for 22 yards in the loss.
Criticism over his lack of chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield has followed and Tuesday he had a message for the many critics.
“I’m just here at a point in my life where I just want to play football, I just want to win, period,” Beckham said during a Zoom video conference with reporters. “There’s nothing else that can distract and deter me from those goals and I think once I get you all, the world, everyone to understand that I care about one thing, and that’s winning and producing, I think that you’ll be able to see some of the other actions and look at it from a different perspective than a perspective of a lot of the names and attachments that have been thrown off me in a way.”
Beckham dropped a key third down pass with the Browns trailing 17-6 before a missed field goal and was flagged twice – for a facemask while trying to deliver a stiff arm to a defender and stepping out of bounds and not reestablishing himself before making a catch nullifying a reception – backing up the offense.
Beckham also drew two defensive penalties that gave the Browns first downs during a third quarter drive but otherwise he had an unusually quiet afternoon.
The three-time Pro Bowl receiver doesn’t know why the connection with Mayfield short circuited or why he’s only been able to net two 100-yard games since joining the Browns.
“I've never played quarterback, so it's very hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes,” Beckham said. “As a receiver, you're like 'man, I'm open' or this or that, and that's just not feasible for me to think about what he may be going through back there or if there's pressure or if there's things going on. I know there's a lot on his plate.
“I know that none of us played the way that we would have wanted to play on Sunday. You kind of just have to give your hats off to the Ravens. They came out there, they were the better team, they beat the [expletive] out of us and we keep it pushing.”
Striking the right balance between spreading the wealth and getting Beckham his touches remains a work in progress.
“You want to get him the ball, but it has to be the right scenario and right situation for us to do that,” Mayfield said.
Beckham admitted he’d like to see ball early in the game to get him going.
“Absolutely. It's like a shooter putting up a couple 3s early and you hit one, two of them, like, God knows you might drop 60, you know what I mean?” Beckham said. “I would love to get involved early, but it just didn't go that way Sunday. And like I said, you've got to give your hats off to the other team sometimes. They just came out and they just played better than us.”
The Browns’ quarterback disagreed with the notion they were force-feeding Beckham in the third quarter after looking his way 4 times in the first half.
“Obviously you game plan and you scheme up things to get the ball in your playmakers’ hands,” Mayfield said. “But then when it comes to gametime, they are going to give us certain looks that might take that away. We had a couple plays for him early on and the Ravens did a good job of taking that away so we had to go through the reads and get the ball into other guys’ hands.”
Whatever frustrations Beckham is feeling, he’s guarded in how he expresses them publicly as to not send the wrong message to Mayfield or the organization.
“It's a tough position to be in with the way that I feel like I've been misrepresented to the world,” Beckham said. “It makes it hard to just seem as if ‘Oh, I just want the ball’ and all these things when really, I just want to help. I just want to be able to help this team in any way that I can.
“You kind of get the sense of just playing your role and you have to trust that the coaches are going to put you in the right position and we're gonna be able to go from there. I'm not very vocal about that thing and that could be my fault and something I need to learn from. Like I said, it's the first game.”
Sunday’s game marked the fourth time in 17 games with the Browns that Beckham had three or fewer receptions and less than 30 yards.
They’re now 6-11 with him on the roster and Beckham explained just how much losing bothers him.
“[I] Go to sleep at 5 in the morning, [because I’m] up just thinking,” Beckham said. “When you want to be at a certain level of greatness, anything less or short of that is never going to be acceptable to you. I can sit here like it didn’t bother me, and not stats, I just mean as far as the way that the game went, but I’d be lying. I would definitely like for the game to have went a different way.”