Through 25% of the 2016 NFL season, Odell Beckham Jr. has been an emotional train wreck. We’ve seen him attack a kicking net, legitimately cry on the sidelines, and get flagged for bonehead unsportsmanlike penalties.
Granted, it is relatively early in the season and his receptions and receiving yards stats are almost identical to the ones he put up last year at this point (save for the zero touchdowns), but when your team currently resides in the basement of the NFC East, your whole “passion for the game” schtick starts to morph into a genuine distraction. Especially when you yourself admit that you’re “not having fun anymore.”
Jon Gruden, a man who is widely respected for being complimentary to players and typically avoids grabbing negative headlines, joined ESPN’s Mike & Mike on Wednesday and was critical of the Pro Bowl receiver.
“I don’t think this is as difficult as maybe some people — he’s had some problems. I think he’s been fined five times. I think he’s been suspended by the league already. He’s not playing great football. He’s got no touchdowns. Zero. And I’ve seen him drop passes at the end of the game against New Orleans, Washington — he dropped one the other night. I thought he quit on a route that the ball was intercepted on.
“I don’t want to see anymore one-handed catches, honestly. He’s not playing up to his standard. How much are you gonna tolerate? I think that’s a question that Ben McAdoo, the head coach of the Giants, is faced with. You can tolerate more with some players than others. Obviously, he’s very talented, but like I said, he’s dropping passes. I’ve taken guys out of the game for that. I think that’s what needs to be done.
“Sit him down for a while. I know he’s a great player. But I’ve taken guys down for dropping passes, lining up wrong, missing an audible, blowing an assignment, committing penalties, not being reliable.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how first year head coach Ben McAdoo handles a situation that clearly needs to be addressed before it’s too late.
Totally unrelated, but I love this Gruden GIF.
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[h/t For the Win]