As the Cleveland Browns stumbled to a 2-6 start in a loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, CBS sideline reporter Jay Feely reported on air that Odell Beckham Jr. complained about not getting the ball.
“I can’t get the ball to save my life,” Feely reported Beckham as saying.
After the 24-19 loss, Beckham denied making the statement, telling reporters he doesn’t even know who Feely is.
“I don’t recall saying that,” Beckham said. ... “Controversy sells.”
Beckham’s production lag
Beckham finished the game with five catches for 87 yards, which actually ranks as a good game this season for the three-time Pro Bowler who regularly put up massive stat lines with the New York Giants.
Beckham has eclipsed 100 yards just twice since joining the Browns in an offseason trade, with Sunday’s performance marking his third-highest yardage total on the season. In Cleveland’s other five games, Beckham has tallied between 27 and 71 yards as he’s averaged 71.9 yards per game on the season.
He’s also regularly held out of the end zone, with his lone touchdown arriving via an 89-yard catch-and-run in Week 2 against the New York Jets.
Beckham’s better than this
Discounting his injury-shortened 2017 season, Beckham’s worst year in New York saw him average 85.4 yards per game. His lowest touchdown total saw him tally six last season, where he played in just 12 games.
There are numerous problems plaguing the Browns, and getting the ball to Beckham ranks high on the list.
But through the turmoil, Beckham has avoided public criticism of the team, quarterback Baker Mayfield or embattled head coach Freddie Kitchens. Hit with the diva label early in his career, he’s avoided feeding that mantra this season in terms of criticizing the team.
So what if he did complain?
While he’s remained reticent in public, it’s not hard to fathom a frustrated Beckham complaining about the offense on the sideline.
And his “don’t recall” statement didn’t exactly amount to a staunch denial.
Whether or not he said something, there’s no denying that the Browns offense is a disaster and utter disappointment considering the high expectations entering this season.
If he did complain on the sideline, is it really that big of a deal?
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