WR Odell Beckham Jr.
June 14, 2016
Q: Are you happy to see Victor [Cruz] out there and the way he looked today?
A: Absolutely. You know, itís been a long roadó him and I talk about it every single day. There is nobody who wants to be out there more than him. At the end of the day, this is what weíve been doing since we were little. Nobody wants to stop now, and I know heís got that chip on his shoulder. The talks everyday are just patienceó you know, the time is coming. I feel like heís worked too hard to have any kind of setbacks now looking forward to August where it really counts and where weíre looking to have everybody back, so I know heís excited to be out there and I know itís a hard line to get your opportunity to go and not try and go a little bit more than you should. Itís just the competitive nature in us all. I remember I kind of did the same thingó I wanted to get back and itís just hard to be taken away from what you love and be out as long as heís been out.
Q: Last year when he was attempting to come back, you guys talked a lot about how great it would be together and how great the offense would beó knowing what happened last year, are you hesitant at all to think or dream ahead a little bit to what you guys can accomplish?
A: No, I doní think anything has changed. I think itís the same mindset. I think we still talk about those same things. I sent him a picture of him holding the trophy looking like he was about to cryÖ I just clown on him every now and then because at the end of the day, thatís what you play for. You play for those momentsó weíre able to cherish those with our brothers and Iím looking forward to being able to play with him. Like I said, itís just a matter of staying patient.
Q: As a fellow receiver, when you see him go out there and test it, can you also have a keen eye and look and say, ďWow, he passed that test. I know he can do it now.Ē Are you mindful of that?
A: I think for the most part itís more of a mindset of just understanding where youíre at and knowingó not that this isnít so much importantó but that more important days are ahead. And staying focused on the bigger picture and not, you know, having a good three days of camp and practicing and getting back when you have another four to six weeks, or however long it is, to get healthier.
Q: Is that something that youíve had to develop yourself? Because out here it seems like, not that youíre dialing it back, but you know we havenít seen you as activeÖ
A: UhhÖ yeah, itís tough. And Iíve talked to coaches about it and just stuff like that because at the end of the day, this is my sanctuaryó this is where I come and I feel free. This is my getaway from all the outside distraction that this world provides. This is the only place where I canít be bothered orÖ Iím really just free when I get out here. I feel like a kid again. So for me to come here and not feel as involved or not get as much action, and to be here more to feel like Iím trying to embrace this leadership role, itís hard because Iím not a very vocal leaderó I kind of lead by actionó so if youíre not really out there leading by action, thereís days where I have to grow up myself and still get something out of it. Whether Iím helping a younger guy out, and just talking more amongst the group and really just focusing on doing as much as I can each and every day.
Q: Do you think Coach McAdoo is emphasizing rest a little bit more?
A: Yeah, you know we have some break periods where we just slow the tempo down a little bit. It allows you to catch your wind. You know, we have TV timeouts in the game, we have TV timeouts in practice. I think itís just all a mindset. I think heís just preparing us for whatís ahead.
Q: You mention getting away from those outside distractionsó you have had headlines made this offseason by where youíve stayed, who youíve maybe associated withó does that ever bother you at all, the attention that you draw? Is it good to get back to football and get away from that?
A: Itís great to get back to football, but at the end of the day, I hate that that causes so much distraction for my team and for myself. Especially when a lot of the stuff is not so much true, and thereís just all kinds of things that they come up with. Itís what comes with the territory, though, soÖ [laughs] I just have to get used to it.
Q: Victor had said that he was hoping to accelerate a little bit during this minicamp and actually get out thereó were you guys as a receiving corps at all surprised that he was able to take a few reps today, and if so, what was the initial reaction when you guys actually saw him get out there and catch a pass?
A: No, I donít think I was surprised to see him. You know, like I said, itís hard to sit out for that long and not be thirsty, be hungry to get on the field againó which he isó but like I said, you just have to keep in mind the bigger picture. Thereís bigger days that are in August coming up that we need him all the way back for, so I donít want to say that thereís no point in you doing this right now, but in the end there really is no point. Itís more about getting ready for training camp.
Q: How does Sterling [Shepard] look to you? And does he seek you out?
A: Heís going to be a phenomenal player. He can run routes, he can catch, he can pretty much do it all. So Iím definitely looking forward to seeing him develop. The first couple of days, itís hardó itís hard to learn a new offense, and you come in as a guy who was drafted, you already feel like youíve got something to proveó so youíd see him making mental errors of him just thinking, and now you see him getting out there and feeling more comfortable and just playing. I just feel like I really know what heís capable of and Iíd rather let him just shock the world than spill his secrets.
Q: I think you tweeted something right after he was drafted or something like that. You seemed excitedÖ
A: Yeah he was definitely a stealó a guy who couldíve went first round but heís at where heís at for a reason, and Iím happy heís here. And I really think that heís going to do some pretty amazing things for this team this year.
Q: Can you fast forward a little bitó heís on the field, Victor is on the field, what does that do for you?
A: [Makes touchdown signal with arms] Touchdown. Itís too many weapons, itís hard. Last year we had a lot of teams rolling coverages my way and Coach McAdoo did a great job of just moving me around, putting me in the right place at the right time, and giving me the opportunity to make plays. Now you canít do that so muchóyou try and roll somebody this way, you put Shep one on one, and Iíve seen what he can do. So, Iím happy with tható if you want to roll people my way, you want to emphasize me more, youíve got 80 and 87 or whatever number heís going to wear that are going to pick you apart essentially. Weíve got backs coming out the backfieldó Bobby Rainey, a guy who Iíve seen be able to get open on third down, third-and-five, get us a first down and keep drives alive. Shane [Vereen], all these other weapons, I just donít see us not being successful. I donít think thatís the mindset of this team.
Q: Whatís this offseason program been like for you compared to maybe your past two years?
A: Itís been quiet. Like Iíve said, itís hard to come out here and you notÖ ever since I was at LSU, Iím maxing out every day in practice. Iím going as if itís a game. And that may not be the best way to train, but itís all I know, so to come here and to feel like I short myself on days or I donít get what I need to get out of a day, itís hard. Itís hard to go home and not be frustrated when you feel like you come to work and you donít really get to work. This offseason has been a little quieter, I guess, on the football field. Not so much everywhere elseó I think things like to just pop up and get displayed, soÖ
Q: What have you learned about managing all that off-field fame?
A: I donít know. Like I said, I feel like it kind of comes with the territoryó I feel like if I hid under a rock for 364 days and I came out on the 365th and someone saw me somewhere, thereís going to be a story about it. Something is going to happen, Iím going to hear about it, itíll be here and itíll be there. I think people just need something to talk about sometimes, soÖ
Q: How do you feel about being that something?
A: I remember coming into the league, I wantedÖ there were guys, Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, guys who are brothers in my class. Theyíre guys who I compete against, who I wanted to be talked about the way that they were talked about. I was like, ĎMan, they never talk about me.í And I tell people now, be careful what you ask for, because I used to crave tható I used to want to be talked about and people to know what I was capable of, and now itís like they want to know everything. They want to know each and every detail, and like I said, I really tell them just be careful what you ask for.