FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Brandon Marshall thinks OBJ needs some TLC from the Giants.
The Jets wide receiver said Wednesday that the Giants need to keep their criticisms of star Odell Beckham Jr. “in-house” and rally behind him outside the public eye.
Marshall was asked Wednesday his opinion on the situation that is brewing between the Giants and Beckham, who has had a few emotional outbursts on the field and the sideline this season.
“Those guys over there need to be really careful,” Marshall said. “They don’t need to be speaking out on their teammate. They need to keep that in-house because they could lose him. I’m being honest. They need to rally behind him and give him the support he needs and handle that stuff in-house, whether good or bad. Because whether they like it or not, he’s the best player on that team.”
Beckham has said he’s no longer having fun playing football, and Giants coach Ben McAdoo and quarterback Eli Manning have criticized his behavior.
“Coach coming out and saying, ‘He needs to do …,’ nah, that’s the wrong way,” Marshall said. “You’re playing with fire right there.”
Marshall has dealt with his own issues with teammates and coaches during his career, and spoke to Beckham recently about handling his situation. Marshall added that Beckham has done and said things he “absolutely” doesn’t agree with.
“He’s the type of guy that he can play with anger, he can play with rage,” Marshall said. “That’s not a distraction for him. He doesn’t need a sports psychologist for that because he’s still going to make that magnificent, one-handed catch. The problem is, it may be a distraction to his teammates.”
Especially when Beckham’s teammates and coaches are constantly being asked questions about his behavior.
“When your teammates have to answer that question over and over, that’s when it becomes a problem,” Marshall said. “So I think that he can channel it a bit better, but there’s a thin line. He has to be himself. Monday night, he was not himself. That’s not good for them.”
Beckham was held to three catches for a career-low 23 yards in the Giants’ 24-10 loss at Minnesota, a game in which he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for exchanging words with Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
“I just have to understand if I sneeze the wrong way, it’ll be a flag, it’ll be a fine,” Beckham said after the game. “If I tie my shoe the wrong way, it might be a fine or a flag. It is what it is. You have to understand that.”
During the Giants’ previous game against Washington, a frustrated Beckham took a swipe at a kicking net and McAdoo spoke to the star receiver several times to calm him. Beckham has lost $130,000 in salary because of fines or suspensions in just two-plus seasons.
Despite all that, Marshall doesn’t believe the solution is for the Giants to bench Beckham.
“If they bench him … he’s the best player in the NFL right now,” Marshall said. “I would say top-five players.”
But, then, couldn’t the Giants be accused of enabling a player who many might perceive as needing a timeout?
“Keep it in-house,” Marshall said. “That’s the best way to do it. He’s still young. He’s 23 years old and he has a lot of growing to do.”
Marshall added that he will someday write a paper on the psyche of superstars, particularly wide receivers and “me-me-me guys,” and the pressure to perform under a very public microscope. He thinks the perception by many that players who constantly ask for the ball — as Marshall himself does — are selfish, is mostly inaccurate. Marshall said it’s the desire to win, and the thought that they give their team an even better chance at doing so when they’re able to make plays.
“The guy loves football, man,” Marshall said of Beckham. “He’s a great talent. There’s a lot of pressure on him. There’s two cameras on him every Sunday, and it’s part of the process. LeBron James went through it, too. This comes with the territory of being a superstar. … He’s going to be OK.”
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