Browns' Odell Beckham Jr. Says Mike Tomlin 'Disrespected' Him with Yawn Gesture

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2019

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) celebrates in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. The Browns won 21-7. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

In August, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made a yawning gesture when he was asked by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler about facing Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. twice a year. 

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Lost tape from our Tomlin interview in Va. in July: Tomlin gives the yawn hand sign when I ask him about facing Odell Beckham twice a year. The message? We face great players often. https://t.co/Wb3jVaJTsZ

On Thursday night, Beckham mocked the gesture, pretending to yawn after a 43-yard reception against the Steelers:

Cleveland Browns @Browns

.@bakermayfield finds @obj for a 43-yard gain! #PITvsCLE https://t.co/7l6jDZybXh


👀 @obj doesn't forget https://t.co/XvDvF7Jlui

Jarvis Landry even joined in on the fun:

Cleveland Browns @Browns

.@God_Son80 WIDE OPEN IN THE END ZONE #PITvsCLE https://t.co/QfOf6xaZG4

Beckham was later seen having words with Tomlin.

"I said, 'You disrespected me,'" Beckham told reporters Monday, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "I said, 'You know who I am.' And he said, 'I know who you are. That's why we're doubling you all game' and this and that."

Beckham did add that their conversation was nothing more than a bit of good-natured trash talk.

"We were just talking," he said. "There's never been no beef with me and no coach. We were just talking s--t."

Beckham, Landry and the Browns had the last laugh—or yawn, in this case—as well, winning the game 21-7, even if the victory was ultimately marred by a huge fight that included Myles Garrett ripping off Mason Rudolph's helmet and hitting him in the head with it. The victory was Cleveland's second in a row, bringing the team to 4-6 and keeping it in the playoff race. 

While the Browns opened the season 2-6, they also faced a tough schedule that included losses to the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots, all teams that are strong postseason contenders. 

But the Browns also now have impressive wins against the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and the Steelers. And their schedule down the stretch is favorable, with matchups vs. the Miami Dolphins, Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals (twice), Arizona Cardinals and Ravens. 

The Browns aren't going to catch the 8-2 Ravens in the AFC North. The 7-3 Bills—currently in control of the first wild-card berth in the AFC—may be out of reach, too, if Buffalo doesn't completely implode down the stretch. But the 6-4 Houston Texans may still be within striking distance of Cleveland for that second wild-card berth. 

It's probably a long shot, but Cleveland has a chance to turn its season around and prove its doubters wrong after the 2019 campaign started in such poor fashion. If Beckham brings out the yawn for Tomlin, just imagine what he might have in store for all the people who left Cleveland for dead.