If you were on Twitter yesterday and you follow football, then you probably saw a number of Tweets about the fact that Odell Beckham Sr., who is shockingly the father of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., put in extensive effort to make the case that his son was being badly misused, and underused, in their offense.
He posted an 11-minute-long video on Instagram purporting to show all of the numerous, numerous occasions in which the Browns, and specifically quarterback Baker Mayfield, failed to get passes to him when he was open. He argued that Cleveland is not willing to use his son the right way, and even suggested that Mayfield doesn’t want him to get the ball.
It’s not a coincidence that this all went down yesterday, with it being the trade deadline, but, of course, he wasn’t moved, and you can probably expect an awkward meeting or two this week. Even some of Beckham’s teammates, like fellow wide receiver Rashard Higgins, ‘liked’ some of the social media posts involved in this discussion.
But at least for the remainder of this season, he’s not going anywhere, so what next? Well, according to Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, following his team’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, in which Beckham caught one pass for six yards, it’s up to him to get the receiver involved more.
“I would tell you first and foremost, I need to do a better job. I really do”, he told reporters Monday about getting Beckham more targets. “I need to make sure that I put him in position to make some plays, and I did not do a good enough job certainly yesterday”.
Despite playing nearly three quarters of the Browns’ offensive snaps, Beckham was only targeted one time during the entire game, with Mayfield attempting 31 passes. A full 10 of them went to Jarvis Landry, who caught five for 65 yards, including a drop or two, and a crucial fumble.
“He gets a lot of attention from the defense”, Stefanski said. “There were a bunch of plays where the safety is cheating to him, and that opens up opportunities for other guys. I think of an early third down that we had where the post safety stayed to the boundary side because he was cheating towards Odell, and we hit a big play to Jarvis”.
Cleveland initially made a blockbuster trade for the former All-Pro wide receiver in 2019, giving up first- and third-round draft picks, as well as starting safety Jabrill Peppers, himself a 2017 first-round draft pick. The New York Giants ended up using their two draft picks on defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and edge Oshane Ximines.
Since signing with the Browns, Beckham has played in 29 games over two and a half seasons, catching 114 passes on 210 targets for 1586 yards and seven touchdowns. Mayfield has a 72.1 passer rating when targeting Beckham during their time together.