The controversy over the usefulness of the offseason continues to grow with every injury that happens. Now it’s the New York Giants and the Jacksonville Jaguars arguing about targeting Odell Beckham Jr., getting a lot more attention from defenses now that he’s no longer a rookie.
Beckham was sensational last season. Not just his famous catch, but his overall numbers: 91 receptions, 1305 yards, 12 touchdowns. This season he’s going to be the focal point of this offense right from the start, and that means seeing a lot more aggression from defensive backs covering him.
In the preseason game against the Jaguars, which turned out poorly for the Giants’ first team (everything else doesn’t really matter most of the time). He was targeted five times but didn’t catch a single pass, and on couple of occasions didn’t even go for the ball when he saw a safety coming at him too hard for his taste. He had a number of exchanges with Jaguars players during the game for that reason.
This year, that’s just what the case is going to be. So, protect yourself. I know that, by the time the season comes, on those plays I’m going to have to sit there and take the hit, because I want to catch the ball and I want Eli to keep throwing those balls and him giving me opportunities. Even towards the back end of the season, I know there were plays just like in this preseason that guys have an opportunity to make a play on the ball and they’re not making a play on the ball. Instead they’re going towards me. I know it’s part of the game and I’m not going to be the one to sit there and complain about it. But it’s just like, man to man, if you have a chance to make a play, make a play. Don’t make the play on me or try to blow me up.
Victor Cruz, Beckham’s offense teammate who isn’t playing in the preseason because of an injury, was on the sidelines and felt that too; Beckham being targeted by the Jaguars defense.
When guys have an opportunity to get an interception and they don’t even go for the ball, that’s what you don’t want to see. From the sideline you could see it. When you’re running a vertical route and you take a peek at the safety and see him, head down, trying to spear you. You can see that from a mile away.
On the other side of the fence, the feeling isn’t mutual. Sergio Brown got shoved by Beckham at one point to show his frustration for the treatment he was receiving.
That’s just football. It’s a preseason game. That’s how you play football in the NFL. It’s not practice. It’s live, so if they throw the ball up, you’ve got to be prepared to catch it or protect yourself. No gunning. I don’t know if he was frustrated from what Sergio did or what he thinks Sergio might have done, or if he was just frustrated because he wasn’t getting enough balls. I don’t know. It’s a better question for Odell to answer and their offense.