Odell Beckham Jr. Talks Slow Start, Says Giants 'Need to Play with Some Heart'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2018

New York Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. speaks to reporters in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. Four games into the season and Beckham has not caught a touchdown pass. The Giants play the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. (AP Photo/Tom Canavan)
Tom Canavan/Associated Press

The New York Giants have gotten out of the gate slow, stumbling to a 1-3 start to the 2018 regular season.

For New York star Odell Beckham Jr., part of the team's problem is a lack of energy and heart.

Beckham told ESPN's Josina Anderson, h/t the New York Daily News' Pat Leonard:

"It's just it's a different place the energy. It isn't like—where I say we come from—it isn't that savage mentality of like—and it's partly the NFL. You know, it's different than college. When we left practice in college, we goin' to eat University Seafood, we goin' to Kane's, we goin' to get some food, we gonna chill in the room like we chill together. And (in the NFL) when everybody leaves they've got a family, they've got a wife, they've got kids to come home to. And...I don't have that, so I try and build that relationship with my teammates because I want to know who am I going to war with every day. When the heat's on, who is this person outside of just being at work and saying what's up?

"So a lot of it has to do with the energy that we don't have that we don't bring every single day. And you know me. I'm a passionate, energetic person. I always have to have that. If I don't, it's gonna be a problem for me. And just playing with some heart. We just need to play with some heart. We're only 1-3, you know. The year we went 11-5, we were 2-3. We ended up being 2-3 after five games. So you never know when you can go on a run."

Nobody can ever accuse Beckham of not playing with heart. In fact, he plays with so much emotion that he can let his feelings get the best of him during games.

The 25-year-old has had a handful of moments on the sideline through his first four-plus seasons, including an incident that saw a kicking net fight back. Whether it's viewed as passion or an out-of-control outburst, there's no denying he plays the game with heart.

Even with a struggling offense, New York have been competitive in the majority of their losses. Two of the Giants' three losses have come by one possession. The other was a 15-point loss to the New Orleans Saints, who were a Minnesota Miracle away from the NFC Championship Game last season. 

Beckham was limited to just four games last year due to an ankle injury. Although he has been healthy to start the 2018 campaign, the three-time Pro Bowler has not been putting up his typical numbers. He 31 catches through four games with 331 yards and zero touchdowns. His 10.7 yards per reception would be the lowest of his career for a full season.

Beckham added:

"But it's just a matter of when we gonna go on a run. How come we can’t throw the ball for more than 20 yards? How come we don't attempt or try to throw the ball for more than 20 yards? Those are questions that we have to figure out, but for now I would say it's our heart, it's our energy."

This, of course, comes after Beckham became the highest-paid receiver in NFL history this offseason by signing a five-year, $95 million extension.

It was just two years ago that Beckham was held out of the end zone for the first month of the season. The Giants went 2-2 during that stretch. The dynamic wideout would soon catch fire and finish the 2016 season with 10 touchdowns to go with 1,367 yards. Meanwhile, New York won nine of its final 12 regular-season games to reach the postseason.

Beckham knows there's still plenty of time for the revamped Giants offense to figure things out. He also knows, though, if they can't come up with answers quickly, the season could spiral out of control, like the 3-13 performance the team went through a season ago.

That's why Beckham wants to see his teammates play the rest of the season with different energy.

"It’s what we bring when we line up before the game, all of that, that counts," Beckham said.

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