EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. has clear understanding of what it means to be the go-to receiver for the New York Giants.
When Dallas comes up with a game plan for Sunday’s season opener, he is going to be the receiver who draws the most attention. He is also the player who is going to take that extra shot if the Cowboys can find a way to deliver it legally.
At home, Beckham is the hero for Giants’ fans. Away, he is the villain: the bleached-haired player who is going to be booed whenever fans get the chance, and they love it when he loses his cool, as he did against Josh Norman last season.
For those with no rooting interest, Beckham is simply the player noted for his one-handed touchdown catch against the Cowboys in his rookie season.
Talk to the 23-year-old Beckham and there is a lot to be learned. While he would love to have another 1,300-or 1,400-yard season and added another 12 or 13 touchdown receptions, it’s more important to win.
The Giants have posted consecutive 6-10 records in his two seasons, each time missing the playoffs.
“The numbers mean something in a sense, but the 6-10 number, flip that around, 10-6 means a lot more,” Beckham said Wednesday after the Giants practiced for the opener in Dallas.
“I just hate losing. I’m cool with other people being open, we’re scoring. There’s no better feeling than being on the field and everything is clicking and we’re winning games.”
Beckham said his freshman year at LSU was fun. The team went undefeated and he made his contributions in other ways.
“I wasn’t going for 120 yards a game,” he said. “It was 50 yards, five catches, the blocks that you made to spring a running back. It’s really about winning. I hate losing.”
Beckham would like to see the Giants get off to a good start for new coach Ben McAdoo. New York has not won a season opener since 2010, and it has not made the playoffs since 2011.
The Giants went 2-2 in the preseason and the offense did not play well.
Beckham hesitated when asked if he felt more pressure to produce after having 187 catches for 2,755 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first two seasons.
“I don’t like the word pressure because it is not something I feel in a sense that I have to do this and I have to do that,” Beckham said. “It’s football. This is what I have done all my life. I love it and I give it my all. Hopefully, that’s good enough.”
Beckham admits to having his own expectations. He does not care what others expect from him. He believes this season will offer him more opportunities to get better, and he hopes playing with Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard will help him, or them.
“You can’t worry about what’s ahead of you,” Beckham said. “It’s predetermined and destined for you. You just have to stay the course and it will take you right to where you are supposed to be, whether it is good, bad or indifferent.”
Beckham said the one thing he enjoys is studying other receivers, and “stealing” stuff to add to his game.
“You want to be the best,” Beckham said. “If you aim to be the best and fall short, I think you will be in a good position.”
Dallas did a good job against Beckham last season, limiting him to nine catches for 79 yards and no touchdowns.
“They feature him, he is the go-to guy, and he is one of those guys where you have to know where he is every time he breaks the huddle,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.
“We understand the challenges he presents as a downfield receiver, as a receiver who they throw the ball to underneath, who can make plays after he catches it — his run after catch is outstanding, he has been a huge playmaker for them ever since he got there.”
NOTES: McAdoo said that Randy Bullock will kick in the opener for the suspended Josh Brown. … Recently signed OT Will Beatty hopes to play on Sunday. Thursday will be his first practice in pads in a year. … McAdoo refused to say whether he or offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan will call plays Sunday.
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