Beckham's Focus On Endorsements, Marketing Questioned Prior To Breakout Game
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. had a career-high 222 yards receiving on Sunday after what had been a disappointing start to his season, and ESPN's Jonathan Coachman wondered if that slow start was because Beckham was "shooting so many commercials" during the offseason, "taking away from (his) preparation time." Speaking during the first half of the Giants' 27-23 win over the Ravens, Coachman acknowledged Beckham is the player "every company wanted." But he added, "I just wonder if the frustration level is at such a fever pitch because he came into the season not nearly as focused. Yes, you’ve got time (in the offseason) to shoot the commercials and prepare. But what about all those calls when your agent calls you and says, ‘Hey, we had this company call, this company called. We’ve got to decide what we’re going to do. We need to meet for two or three hours on Wednesday to go over this.’ All those types of things can now mentally start taking you away from the start of the season. I personally believe there’s something to it." ESPN's Max Bretos said the number of ads Beckham appears in has been "relentless." But ESPN's Tom Waddle said Beckham is "not thinking about his next marketing deal as he lines up" on the field. Waddle: "We’re talking about mutually exclusive issues here. I think you can get your work done and be prepared for a season and at the same time go out there and be willing to gather whatever the market is willing to bear from a marketing standpoint. Peyton and Eli Manning have done it” ("Max & The Coach with Tom Waddle," ESPN Radio, 10/16).
LOOK AT ME: Beckham has made as many headlines this year with his sideline antics as he has with his play, and that includes a 15-yard penalty for taking his helmet off after scoring the go-ahead touchdown late in Sunday's game. ESPN's Tim Hasselbeck noted Beckham is a "great player," but said, "When you don't care about how your actions affect everybody else on that football team and you care more about yourself than everyone else, it's selfish." Hasselbeck: "It's entertaining, all that stuff, but it's selfish. It's about him and not about the team.” ESPN's Mark Dominik siad, "When you take the helmet off, you're saying, ‘Me first.’ That's where I'd be having a conversation saying, ‘It's not ‘me,’ it's ‘we’" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN, 10/17). ESPN's Steve Young said, "He can have a lot of fun and even have antics, but bring the guys with you. When it’s just you and you leave everybody else behind, you cost them penalties and you're not caring about the big picture, then football will leave you" ("Monday Night Countdown," ESPN, 10/17). But NBC’s Mike Florio said with Beckham, the Giants "take the good with the bad, and as long as the good outweighs the bad, well, we'll deal with the bad." Florio: "When the guy plays as well as he does, when he is a game-changer, one of the very few game-changers in the NFL right now, you find a way to look over the warts" ("PFT," NBCSN, 10/18).
DRAWING ON HIS OWN EXPERIENCES: ESPN's Randy Moss reflected on his career and said when he was "young and doing those things," any direction to curtail his actions "had to come from the front office." Moss: "When you’re looking at Odell Beckham Jr., the head coach isn't going to do it, he's young. Eli Manning isn’t going to do it; he probably won't listen to Eli. The man who writes the check each and every week with his name on the check is the owner, and if the owner can't sit Odell Beckham down and be able to talk to him about where he's going with these antics, that’s bad." Moss added Beckham's antics are "good for TV," but football "is a team sport" ("Monday Night Countdown," ESPN, 10/17).
NET GAINS: In New Jersey, Art Stapleton writes there is "always a story line surrounding Beckham, a dynamic player whom drama always seems to follow." However, there is "some irony in Beckham being accused of making a mockery of the game with his kicking net charades when the mocking of him with that said net on back pages, social media, sports radio and 'SportsCenter' contributed to it getting this far." Stapleton: "In a way, this is Beckham mocking everything about the controversy" (Bergen RECORD, 10/18).