CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Odell Beckham Jr. still catches footballs one-handed with ease during drills.
He’s as explosive as ever getting off the line and down field.
Beckham will bust a move if one of his favorite tunes comes on during warmups and he's not shy about chatting up his teammates either.
Watching from afar, Beckham appears to finally feel like himself again.
“I know that I am in a great place mentally and getting there physically, as well,” Beckham said Tuesday afternoon.
At times, Beckham seemed to struggle to come to grips with the blockbuster trade that sent him from the Giants to the Browns last year.
For Beckham, it was a shock and his first year in Cleveland did not go as planned for him or his new team.
Beckham played through a core muscle injury suffered during training camp and finished second on the team behind his best friend Jarvis Landry with 74 catches for 1,035 yards but scored just four touchdowns.
The Browns fell flat on their face finishing 6-10 and yet another round of changes commenced. Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey out, Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry in.
“Coming back a second year, you do feel more comfortable, but it is still new coaches and new faces, so it is always adjusting and adapting to what is going on,” Beckham said.
Beckham bought a house near Landry last year and he finally feels at home.
“Being able to work on your house and feel comfortable, feel safe and secure is definitely something that I have not had in my career as far as being grounded in a place having a house,” Beckham said. “That is definitely a good feeling.”
The new scenery and injury made it difficult for Beckham to feel like himself but following offseason surgery and a second camp in Cleveland, a sense of normalcy has finally arrived.
“It just feels like he is just so much more comfortable here, and he said that,” Dee Haslam said. “He says ‘I am in my home. I am more comfortable.’ I think it was a transition, but I think he is doing really well and love the fact that he is talking about how happy he is to be here and how comfortable he is.”
Even with a new offensive system to learn, Beckham is excited about the potential he and quarterback Baker Mayfield have. Mayfield dropped some body fat in the offseason and added more muscle. The results are noticeable as the 2018 No. 1 overall pick looks as fast as ever during practice.
“Of course, I am going to say [the chemistry] is going to be better than last year,” Beckham said. “As far as him, he looks great – mentally, physically. He has like a four-pack now. He is doing great. He is just in a good place. As a teammate and as a guy who has always been a fan of Baker and as a brother, it is great to see him in this place.”
Beckham is a star and when he speaks, everyone listens and then runs to a keyboard to pump out his headline-grabbing quotes.
Tuesday Beckham was much more reserved than normal.
Unlike a year ago, there were no bold predictions, just an emphasis on taking it one day at a time and putting in the work necessary to be successful week to week.
“I would love to sit here and be like, ‘Oh, the offensive is going to do [this],’” Beckham said. “Until Week 1, 2, 3, 16 and until you have seen what it does, I can’t sit here and tell you what is going to happen. As far as hopes and expectations for it, I am very excited for what we have in front of us.”
Stefanski has appreciated how engaged Beckham has been since he took the job in January.
“We text a lot. He makes sure that we are talking about different plays that he likes. He is all in on ball,” Stefanski said. “He is a veteran. He has kind of seen it all so he has some great insights. He pushes out there. You know he is out there because you hear him, and he has great juice out there on the field and enthusiasm for this.”
Beckham seems to have taken to his new head coach, another change from a year ago.
“I definitely like him,” Beckham said. “As far as our relationship, it is great. It is more private, and we just talk, text and talk football. He loves this game of football. He is going to do everything in his power to put this team in the best position to succeed and put his players in the best position to succeed. I think we all have an exciting opportunity in front of us.”
Following the signing of two-time Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper and right tackle Jack Conklin in addition to the selection of left tackle Jedrick Wills 10th overall in the draft, expectations – at least offensively – are once again sky high.
Beckham, Landry, Hooper, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt make for quite the supporting cast for Mayfield.
So how does everyone stay happy?
“I think you just throw for 600 yards each game and rush for 200, and I think everybody will be happy,” Beckham said.
And if that doesn’t happen?
“Just win,” Beckham said. “Nothing really matters when you win.”