BEREA, Ohio — Gregg Williams’ “dirty” coaching tactics apparently claimed another victim: Odell Beckham Jr.
The former New York Giants receiver blasted Williams for coaching his former Cleveland Browns players to take “cheap shots” at opponents, adding that one of those hits resulted in an ankle injury that changed Beckham’s life “forever.”
“If I was a coach, I would never teach what he teaches. But that’s just him and what he does,” Beckham said, blasting the Browns’ former interim head coach and current New York Jets defensive coordinator, who was embroiled in the bounty scandal that rocked the NFL in 2012.
Now, just four days before the Jets and Browns face each other on “Monday Night Football,” it was Beckham delivering a mighty blow.
The receiver — who was traded from New York to Cleveland in March — suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 2 of the Giants’ 2017 preseason season when he was hit low by then-Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
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“Nobody in the NFL is really out to do stuff like that. I had players on this team telling me that’s what he was telling them to do: Take me out of the game and it’s preseason. You just know who he is.”
That injury cost Beckham the Giants’ season opener. But, according to him, Williams cost him much more.
“That’s exactly what it did,” said Beckham, who said he tried to come back from the injury too soon and subsequently broke the ankle. He later underwent surgery and missed the majority of the 2017 season.
“I came back too early for my team. I gave them all I had, even though I knew I was three weeks out. I came back probably three weeks early because they had lost the first game of the season last year and I felt that pressure to be able to come out there and do what I can to help the team. …
“If God wouldn’t have blessed me the way that I am, I would have blown my knee in that preseason game if I could’t have gotten my foot out the ground. And that high-ankle sprain led to the broken ankle on the left, which led to compensation in a different area, so it was kind of like a little spiral.
“So, it’s something that I’ll never forget. It changed my life forever. I don’t necessarily regret it. Of course, I wish it didn’t happen, but it did. That led to the ankle, for sure.”
He also blamed Williams — and that crucial Boddy-Calhoun hit — for the subsequent torn quadricep muscle he suffered last year with the Giants.
“I ended up catching a nasty hematoma last year. Banged up and I just tried to play through it,” he said. “ … I was running an out-and-up, I stuck on the up and my quad just tore and it was torn the entire back end of the season and there was really nothing I could do about it. … I wish I could have finished the season but I couldn’t. I just did my best to be a team player, traveled with the team. I just tried to be there for those guys however I can. That’s just the person I am.”
Williams became synonymous with the infamous bounty scandal in 2012. Then the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, Williams paid players money for injuring opponents.
Williams is expected to address the New York media on Friday.
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