Brandon Marshall cautions Giants: Keep Odell Beckham talk 'in-house'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall waded into theOdell Beckham Jr.firestorm Wednesday, fiercely defending Beckham and claiming the New York Giants are "playing with fire" by speaking out publicly about his behavior.

"Those guys over there need to be really careful," Marshall said Wednesday. "They don't need to be speaking out on their teammate. They need to keep that in-house because they could lose him. I'm being honest.

"They need to rally behind him and give him the support he needs and handle that stuff in-house, whether good or bad, because whether they like it or not: He's the best player on that team."

Marshall, 32, once regarded as a problem child, reached out to Beckham last week after the receiver's sideline tantrum against theWashington Redskins. Beckham had another blowup in Monday night's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

"He's the type of guy that he can play with anger, he can play with rage," Marshall said. "That's not a distraction for him. He doesn't need a sports psychologist for that because he's still going to make that magnificent, one-handed catch.

"The problem is it may be a distraction for his teammates. There are some things that he's done where guys don't want to answer the same question every single week. As far as him personally needing help, he doesn't need help. He's still going to produce and be the beast he is."

Marshall scoffed at the notion the Giants would be best served by benching Beckham.

"That's not good business," he said.

Marshall acknowledged that Beckham can "channel [his anger] a bit better, but there's a thin line. He has to be himself. Monday night, he was not himself. That's not good for them, the coach coming out and saying, 'He needs to do this.' No, that's the wrong way. You're playing with fire right there."

The Giants don't want to see Beckham change, either. They still want him to play with the same fire that helped him set the NFL record for most receiving yards in his first two professional seasons.

"I think he has great passion for the game and a great desire to be one heck of a player, and one thing I'd hate to see him lose is that drive and that passion," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said. "I like him as a salty, competitive player. That is when he plays at his best. We just need to be productive when we're doing it."

Beckham has six unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness or taunting penalties in 31 career games. But quarterback Eli Manning remained unconcerned after Monday night's latest infraction for taunting.

"Well, again, I don't know if he should've been called for it. He felt he was hit late. He didn't hit anybody late," Manning said. "He seemed to be complaining more to the ref about it than anything. He obviously got called for taunting. I don't know if that was a taunting necessarily.

"He had one incident last year that I feel is inappropriate with [Josh] Norman, and since that I don't think he's done anything that has been harmful to another player. So I don't think it's a big deal."

Marshall called Beckham one of the top five players in the NFL, claiming there's a lot of pressure on him.

"There are two cameras on him every Sunday," Marshall said. "It's part of the process. LeBron James went through it, too. This comes with the territory of being a superstar. It comes with it. He's going to be OK."

ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan contributed to this report.

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