WR Odell Beckham Jr. (10.21.20)

WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

On his experience last week missing practice due to an illness and having to pass several steps before being able to return:

“It sucks, but that is just what we have set up for this year. That is what they seem to have voted on and did all these phone calls and everything to come up with whatever the gameplan is going to be. Like (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) said, just embrace the suck. It is what it is. It just part of the 2020 season.”

On if he was worried at all last week about potentially receiving a positive COVID-19 test:

“No, not in an arrogant way, I just do not think COVID can get to me. I do not think it is going to enter this body. I do not want any parts of it. It does not want any parts of me. I think it is a mutual respect. I was not really worried about the test. More in my mind for me and my maturity level, I felt like it was the right thing to mention that I may have not been feeling well and I just do not want it to spread throughout the whole building, if there was a case that I would have possibly had it. I was just trying to be an adult, be precautious about the situation and try to handle it the right way.”

On why he felt compelled to pull the Browns offense together midway through the game, given he has said in the past he is not always comfortable speaking in front of the entire team:

“It is just something that has been on my heart and it has been on my mind, even when we were winning games. As I have been in the NFL, I have really realized, OK there are 16 games. In the mindset within a game if you are getting beat up on, it is like, ‘Alright, we have a game next week.’ To me, I hate that more than anything. I feel like you should win every single game. I feel like you should give it everything you have until the last whistle because let’s say you come away with a win in that game instead of you have to wait until next week and now you have a loss on your record and you could have just won that game and so on again next week. I am trying to change that mentality and that mindset, but I understand it is the NFL. It has just been that way since I have been a rookie. I have seen it with my own eyes. It is just kind of an NFL mentality thing. That game is important, not just to keep the winning train rolling but it is a divisional game and it counts for a little more. Just trying to find a way that we can get us all going.”

On if he felt like Browns players appreciated the message and listened to him on Sunday:

“I do not know. That is something for you to ask them. I feel like I would not be taking any steps forward if I would not do that kind of thing, even though it is something that I do not generally do or really want to do because you do not know if the message will ever be received or whatever the case is. You kind of have to leave that thought behind you and just do what you feel.”

On how badly he wants to win and showing his frustration on the sideline on Sunday:

“I am pissed. At this point, I really do not care to keep trying to make myself look like a good guy to the world and all that because I am who I am. I got pulled out of the game. The coach said this was the best decision. It is eight minutes left, and for me, I would rather take my ass whooping like a man. I would rather take my win the same way. I want to be out there until the last whistle competing. As you know, Dallas game in the first quarter, I got tackled, stubbed my toe into the ground, kind of had this lingering turf toe issue so if I am not going to play and I am not going to stand there with cleats on the sideline and my toe be jammed in there. At the same time, I never want to come out of a game. Win or lose, I do not care if we are up 50 or down 50, I do not ever want to come out of the game. That is always going to be my mentality. I am kind of over trying to play the right thing because I love him to death, but there are people who have plenty of rings and are considered the GOAT, and they do things on the sideline and other people do things on the sideline and they get away with it, and that is classified as passionate because they may have something behind their legacy or whatever it is. To me, we love this so much and it means that much. There is no way around it. I do not care if I have zero rings, 12 rings or 20 rings, I love this game of football and I am not going to keep dulling myself for the world to feel like I am mature or whatever word you would like to throw around it. I am always going to be me. Tired of losing. Tired of losing to good teams. Just ultimately want to win. One day, when it is all said and done, we will all clearly see that but in the midst and in the meantime while we are in it. I am sure we will not so I will just keep pushing forward and it is not going to bother me anymore.”

On if his frustration was the result of a combination of the scoring margin and being pulled from the game:

“Yeah, a combination. Not to say that we should not have lost the game because they came out and just outplayed us and they were the better team that, and sometimes you have to give your hats off to the other team. A combination of everything. It is not like I get out here and I am giving up. I am never giving up on my teammates and never giving up on the team or anything like that so that is not really in me. I refuse to let that be the narrative of what was going on.”

On if he sensed that the Browns came out flat last week and if there is a new determination this week: 

“I do not really know if you can get a sense of it. I kind of was saying it all game long in Pittsburgh, I am like ‘This is one of those games you have to bring your own energy. This is dead. It is dead.’ There is no other way to explain it. The interception in the first quarter was like ‘Thank you. I needed it.’ I needed to be ticked off. The energy just was not there. Whether it was flat or whatever it was, I just feel like we did not come out as fired up as they did, and it showed throughout the rest of the game.”

On QB Baker Mayfield receiving criticism from national Media and if he has talked to Mayfield and tried to be an ally for him: 

“Of course, I hit him after the game. I told him even before I ever got here, ‘I have been through this fire. I have been in this situation. I am older than you. It does not seem like it, but I am older than you. I have been around this. I understand it.’ My advice always for him is just going to be a reflection of what I have been through. I really feel this way, everyone has to go through their own maturation process to know how to move. For me, I have to touch the stove to know that it is hot, no matter if they told me before do not touch it. There are plenty of examples. I am usually the one who I have to touch it and have to burn my hand and feel it that way. I know what it feels like, and I can move forward. I think he is going to come out fired up. I think he has always been inspired the negativity, the doubt and the haters. We will see on Sunday how he responds. It is not about what happened to you. It is about how you respond. I am sure he is ready to go and he is fired up. The worst part about is you have to wait till Sunday.”

On when the line is crossed in terms of what is fair and unfair regarding someone’s performance on the field: 

“I do not really know how to answer that question.”

On if everything is up for criticism in the NFL: 

“That is the world we live in, I would say for sure. People have an opinion that they may spit as fact at times, and that is just the way that this world works. There is no real way around it. I have seen it firsthand. It is just kind of the nature of the beast, I guess.”

On his reaction to hearing Stephen A. Smith say he and WR Jarvis Landry should ask to be traded due to Mayfield’s play and ability: 

“For me, it is just all the same talks it has always been and rumors he or there or whatever it is. I am here. Like I said, I have Baker’s back. It has been the same thing for me. It is a one day at a time approach. That was said yesterday, the game was on Sunday and today is Wednesday. Got practice, a bunch of plays and a bunch of things I need to memorize to get ready for Sunday. It is all just background noise. Really do not have much to say about it.”

On if he agrees with Mayfield saying ‘4-2 has never felt like 0-6 before’ and if it is good or bad that the team is taking the Steelers loss so seriously: 

“I think it is pretty important. For me, I hate losing. I think you should go 16-0 every season – that is the goal. Of course, falling short of that would be great, but I just do not see why you should ever go into a game and be OK with losing it or whatever it is. We are 4-2. We are in a good place. I think it is just about finding confidence within the people within this building because I do not think people expected us to be 4-2 anyways. They might have expected us to have some wins here and there. You think about the NFL, a lot of the games that might have been lost last year were won this year in a sense, and instead 2-4, we are 4-2. That is the way that the NFL goes. That is the way that these games go. Also for me, the biggest thing is I think it is important for everyone to understand to have a mentality that we should never lose a game. Even if we are down 21 points in the first quarter, it is not like you should pack it in and get ready for next week. The mentality should be to win this game, and that is the only focus is to win the game that is in front of us and to win the day that is in front of us. That is the plan for this Wednesday is to win the day.”

# # #