NFL head coach says Odell Beckham Jr. quit on Giants, Browns

Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

One anonymous NFL head coach straight-up calls Odell Beckham Jr. a quitter.

Odell Beckham Jr. is a phenomenal wide receiver, but can he also be labeled a quitter?

In Jeremy Fowler of ESPN‘s NFL positional ranking series, his panel of coaches, executives and players ranked the Cleveland Browns wide receiver at No. 4. That’s about right, as it’s incredibly difficult to argue Beckham outside of the top five in any capacity. His ability to take a slant to the house is second to no one in the league, as are his patented one-handed catches.

However, not everyone is a fan of Beckham. One “prominent” NFL head coach accused Beckham of not always playing hard for the Browns and at his previous employer in the New York Giants. “I’ve been watching him quit on plays for years,” said the big-time NFL head coach. “[A] mental roller coaster.”

An anonymous player echoed the head coach’s sentiment by suggesting the mental part of playing football at the highest level takes a toll on him, as well as the teams he plays for. “The whole game seems like a lot for him. At some point you have to say none of your teams have been successful. At some point you have to wonder about that,” said the anonymous veteran player.

Do the head coach and veteran player have a point about Odell Beckham Jr.?

Beckham’s talent is undeniable, but it hasn’t translated to winning at any point of his six-year career out of LSU. During his five-year run with the Giants, the G-Men reached the NFC playoffs once. Beckham was part of the Giants receiving corps that went on the boat trip in Miami ahead of their Wild Card Game vs. the Green Bay Packers. He played bad and they got shelled back in 2016.

Frankly, the Giants were not well-run during his time in The Big Apple. Could he have been a contributing factor to their increased dysfunction? Possibly, but it’s not really fair to smear a wide receiver for a lack of leadership and maturity when it’s not a paramount requirement from that position group. Go out and make plays and hope your front office doesn’t inevitably let you down.

As for the Browns, there is a reason they haven’t won a division title in Beckham’s lifetime. Cleveland has been the worst run franchise in the NFL for decades. That may be changing with the new regime, but Beckham’s first year in Northeast Ohio wasn’t exactly spectacular. The Browns had lofty expectations for the first time in a long time and they came up painfully, painfully short.

So you can say he was a contributing factor to both losing situations he was in, but then again, you can’t blame a wide receiver for widespread organizational dysfunction. Beckham wasn’t a problem at all when the starred alongside Browns teammate Jarvis Landry for Les Miles’ LSU Tigers. Clearly, being in a winning environment matters a ton if you want to get the best out of Beckham.

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In short, it feels like he’s established himself a reputation as a frontrunner. It’s not the end of the world, as Cam Newton has epitomized that for the last decade and it’s turned out alright for him more often than not. While it must be frustrating to play for teams in perpetual chaos like the Giants and Browns, not running every route hard does end up letting your teammates down.

Beckham isn’t a quitter, though he has quit on plays before in the eyes of an anonymous coach.