WR Odell Beckham Jr
August 10, 2016
Q: Do you agree with some of the things coach Sullivan said?
A: I was just smiling. I always agree with what he says.
Q: Ben said that probably most of the starters will get about 15 snaps or so in the first preseason game, how do you feel about the amount of playing time you get and what do you hope to accomplish in your first preseason game personally?
A: Itís tough. Anytime you have a game, you want to compete, but at the end of the day weíre gearing up and training for September 11, so the biggest thing I think I can go into these games thinking is to first help yourself and do what you need to do and figure out what you need to do on what play it is, whatever technique it is and then secondly is to be there and help a younger guy. Some of the mistakes I may have made to not allow anybody else to make that mistake. Just coaching up people and making sure weíre all working together.
Q: How much are you enjoying working with these young receivers? It seems like youíre getting a pretty good kick out of it?
A: I love it. I just love the feeling of being able to help. Sometimes guys will come to me with questions, not all the time but theyíll come to me with questions and Iíll give them the best advice that I would give myself. In doing that, I hope that they can just take it, use it and use it the same way that whatever technique they use, just do that and put something into it.
Q: The continued progress of Sterling Shepard, can you talk about what youíve seen from him?
A: I mean I donít want to spoil the surprise, but heís going to be a special player. I kind of want to keep him on the down-low for right now so that way he just jumps out the first couple of games, has some big plays, touchdowns, and all of that, but heís developing, still learning and is starting to pick up his speed, his learning speed. I remember when I first came in, youíre kind of out there with your head on a swivel and things like that, but as days go on, you start to feel more comfortable and you can start to see him start to feel more comfortable. Heís going to be a big-time player.
Q: Do you remember your first preseason game?
A: My second year?
A: I think it was the Jaguars? No, the Bengals because we went to Cincinnati to workout with them. Yes, Bengals, first preseason game.
Q: What do you recall about it?
A: Itís a lot of this. A lot of this right here. But like I said, weíre gearing up for September 11. This is really a time for, not in a bad way but for the younger guys to work. Come in and get themselves prepared and situated in the NFL. Some of these guys, this is their first time ever playing in the NFL, so Iím excited about that for them, excited for the opportunity. Like I said, I just want to be able to help anyway I can.
Q: Do you have to pump Victor Cruz up again after his minor setback?
A: I didnít even know he had anything like that. I donít think he needs to be pumped up. At the end of the day, when you love football like that, nothing is ever going to distract you from that love. I know he wants to be out there. I honestly donít know, I didnít think anything was bad after we talked so Iím just excited for him to be able to get out there and play. I keep reminding him that his first game is September 11, even though you have to get your feet wet in the preseason. Again, I hate saying that, but itís irrelevant. You could go for 200 yards and none of it is going to matter. You could go for zero yards and none of it is going to matter. All that matters is that youíre prepared for week 1.
Q: Did you see him today?
A: I saw him.
Q: Is he upbeat? Whatís his mood like?
A: Heís good. I didnít even know until about individuals when I was looking around, know that he wasnít out there, but Iím sure heís alright. If something were to happen, I think he would let me know probably.
Q: How high is up for you with Shepard, how high is up for you?
A: What does that mean?
Q: In terms of goals for you?
A: Theyíre way up there.
Q: Do you have a number in mind, do you set goals?
A: Whenever you get to come in the locker room, you can look at my locker for numbers if you need them. Right now Iím really just focused on being the best teammate I can be. Iíve been a part of a culture like that where you feel bonded with your team and weíre all out here working and weíre all out here in the struggle together and thatís kind of what it has felt like and it has felt good. Right now Iím just trying to help whoever I can help and keep learning and growing myself and keep trying to elevate and set the standard even higher.
Q: With a threat like Sterling on the other side and maybe Vic, that opens things up for you even more, doesnít it?
A: Donít you think so? Isnít that why youíre asking?
Q: Yes, Iím asking your opinion.
A: You put two people on me and you have one-on-one with them and I would take them one-on-one pretty much against anyone out there, so itís going to be a lot of fun. Iím looking forward to seeing how you scheme it up or what exactly you do because I would love to get man-to-man. I would love to get two people on me, thatís fine. Just throw it to somebody else. Just keep the chains moving and try and put up as many points as we can.
Q: Youíve been part of two teams in this league that have won six games each year.
A: Thatís 12 wins total. If we can just take that and put it into one year, 12-4, I would love that.
Q: Does this feel like a better team than those teams?
A: I donít know. If you look on the paper, yes, thereís guys that weíve added, things that weíve improved, but at the end of the day the past two years Iíve felt like we werenít going to be 6-10 and we were, so you never know, itís those little things. We lost games by three points last year and thatís all things that couldíve been corrected in the second quarter that led all the way to the fourth quarter. I do feel as if this team is working harder, I feel as if we have a better chance at definitely being better than 6-10 and thatís obviously the goal. One game at a time. You want to be playing on February 5th in Houston.
Q: What growth have you seen in your game?
A: Iím just trying to work on patience. I feel like the man above has a lot of things that are ahead of me. Itís hard to stay patient when you want something so bad and you feel as if itís right there and you want to go out and get it, but itís already going to come to you. To sit back and let it come to you is tough, so right now Iím just working on being patient and riding the waves, riding the waves of life. You have your ups and your downs but at the end of the day everything is going to be alright, so just staying patient, working on the little techniques and the little fundamentals that you need to improve.
Q: In the six months off, what did you focus on and what are you trying to improve?
A: Rest. Rest. I rested for a little bit of time. Iím one of those guys that as soon as it picks back up and itís time to go, itís going to be 110 percent every single rep for the most part so it kind of had to do with what I was saying in that itís just working on patience.
Q: When you get out there with your trainer, do you have a focus?
A: I just like to feel good. I like to get out there, do some speed training, do some agility, a little bit of top end things like that. What I really worked on was running routes. Just trying to be crisp at the top. A lot of the times I could be pushing up two more yards to get depth or breaking on the in and Iím rolling in at 12-14 instead of just getting to 14 and breaking in so itís just being tighter on everything. Like I said, year in and year out there is going to be something that I find to improve on and get better on. No matter what I do the year before, itís always going to be what can I do to be better last year.
Q: Odell, you know what itís like to be a rookie and now you see what guys can do in practice and then the lights go on and how that transition goes. Are you confident in what youíre seeing from some of these younger guys that when the lights go on youíre going to see what you see in practice or is that still a transition to them do you think?
A: I think time tells it but at the end of the day, what you do in practice isnít no more or less different than what you would do in a game, thereís just a couple more people, a lot more people there, but Iím fully confident in their abilities and what theyíve done and shown so far that theyíll be able to come out and do that game time. Like I said, youíre just waiting to see. Iím excited about these preseason games just to be able to see guys come out and have fun, see whoís going to give it all they have, no matter what the situation is and whatíre you going to do to protect your brother, so thatís kind of where weíre at. I have full confidence in those guys and Iím looking forward to it.
Sterling, because of his father's tragic early passing was nutured by the staff of OSU.
No one expects Sheppard to compete with OBJ's rookie performance, but a more "veteran" season than most rookies should not be unexpected.