Speaking to ESPN’s Josina Anderson last week, the Pro Bowl wide receiver said the 1-4 Giants lacked passion.
“A lot of it has to do with the energy that we don’t have, that we don’t bring every single day,” he said in an interview that aired Sunday. “And you know me. I’m a passionate, energetic person. I always have to have that. If I don’t, it’s gonna be a problem for me. And just playing with some heart. We just need to play with some heart.”
Beckham also said in the interview, conducted alongside rapper Lil Wayne, that the Giants needed to throw the ball downfield more often.
When asked if quarterback Eli Manning was the problem, Beckham said, “Uhh, I don’t know. I feel like … He’s not going to get out of the pocket. We know Eli’s not going to run it. Can he still throw it? Yeah. It’s cool catching it shallow and trying to take it, but I want to go over the top of somebody.”
Coach Pat Shurmur expressed his public disapproval of Beckham’s actions over the weekend.
“All right, listen, I’m going to answer all the drama questions right now and I’m going to go back to what I said. I addressed it with Odell. I addressed it with our team,” Shurmur said in an animated tone after Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. “I publicly declared that I didn’t agree with his comments and I asked anybody that was interested if they wanted clarification [to] go to Odell because he’s a big man.
“Now, I’m not going to give the public a pound of flesh on this, all right. … These are the kind of things, in my opinion, when we have the locker room that we have that will help galvanize them because the locker room took care of it, and that is all I’m saying on it. Finito. Done.”
Beckham didn’t apologize or take back his comments, and said he thinks it had a positive effect on the team.
“I don’t regret anything,” he said. “I don’t regret anything that I said. If it took that for us to come together as a team like we did [Sunday]. I can take that every single time.”
Manning brushed the comments off, saying he and Beckham “have a great relationship.”
Beckham led the Giants with 39 catches for 462 yards and a touchdown entering Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
But his frustration was visible in that game. With two seconds remaining in the first half and the Giants trailing 24-6, Beckham was seen walking off the field and into the locker room before the final play. He did not return until after the opening kickoff of the second half.
They ran one final play before halftime with their offense on the field. Beckham was nowhere to be seen.
Beckham also left early two weeks earlier in a loss to the Saints to get an IV.
Beckham had two catches on four targets for 12 yards in the first half, when the Giants were a discombobulated mess. Quarterback Eli Manning was 10-of-23 passing for 163 yards with an interception as they managed just two field goals in the opening 30 minutes.
Coach Pat Shurmur was even caught on camera in the second quarter appeared to say “Throw the ball!” after Manning dumped a second-and-long pass to Cody Latimer in the flat. He then dumped a third-and-long pass well short of the first-down marker before the Giants punted.