Giants' Odell Beckham Jr: I have to understand I will be targeted

ByKevin Seifert ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS -- New York Giantswide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.said Monday night that he must do a better job of understanding that he is one of the NFL's most targeted players.

After finishing with a career-low 23 receiving yards and earning a taunting penalty in the Giants' 24-10 lossto the Minnesota Vikings, Beckham said, "It's just my fault."

In a meandering question-and-answer session with reporters, Beckham suggested that he must accept blame, even in incidents in which others are involved.

"I just have to understand if I sneeze the wrong way, it will be a flag," he said. "It will be a fine. If I tie my shoes the wrong way, it might be a fine or a flag. It is what it is. You have to understand that. As tough as it is to understand that for a 23-year-old who has been blessed with a lot that God has given to me -- an amazing amount of ability and amazing amount of everything -- it seems like it's all working against you.

"But what are you going to do? You gonna back down, or you gonna stand up? I've never been one to back down. I'm going to stand up. We're going to work to get better."

On Tuesday, he quoted a passage from Invictus, written by poet William Ernest Henley, on Twitter.

Beckham was penalized for taunting with 6:22 remaining in the second quarter Monday. He had been exchanging verbal barbs with Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes for several plays when Rhodes hit Beckham out of bounds after a 4-yard catch. Referee Brad Allen's crew did not penalize Rhodes for the late hit, but Beckham was penalized for taunting when he charged and bumped Rhodes.

Beckham appeared to bump line judge Tom Symonette during the argument, but Allen did not exercise his option to eject Beckham for the apparent contact.

The wide receiver had a long conversation with Giants general manager Jerry Reese in the locker room after the game, according to ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning expressed no sympathy afterward.

"He's got to be aware," Manning said. "People are looking for him. He's got to play smart, and he can't afford to do anything there. They're going to call him. He's brought that on himself, and he's got to realize that."

Beckham has lost control of his emotions a number of times the past two seasons, most notably in matchups with cornerback Josh Norman, who was with the Carolina Panthers last season and now plays for the Washington Redskins.

Beckham did not dispute that Rhodes' late hit angered him. He said "you have to protect yourself" when players are "diving at you out of bounds." He also said football is a "man's sport" and that "I'm not going to be out there just taking hits."

But he'll be able to control his emotions, he suggested, when he understands that "it's all against you."

"You have to know that," Beckham said. "You have to understand it. It's never going to deter me from what I want to do. It's never going to deter us from the goals that we have set, my goals that I have set. It's not going to stop me. It's just going to make me have to work harder, smarter and just understand that it's all against you. It is what it is. Whatever you want to call it, it's against you. And you have to live with that."

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