New York Giants QB Eli Manning joins in criticism of Odell Beckham

By Patti Traina, the Sports Xchange
New York Giants' Eli Manning looks to throw against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on September 11, 2016. Ian Halperin/UPI
New York Giants' Eli Manning looks to throw against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on September 11, 2016. Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Throughout his career, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has, at least publicly, been supportive of all of his teammates regardless of their temperaments.

It hasn't always been easy. Guys like tight end Jeremy Shockey and running back Brandon Jacobs were among those who wore their emotions on their sleeves during the heat of a battle.


Yet for whatever outbursts those two might have had, Manning never openly commented on their behavior to the media.

These days, it's a different story, especially when it comes to receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

In a somewhat uncharacteristic fashion, Manning directly addressed Beckham's emotional outbursts, even going so far as to suggest that Beckham brought the extra attention by the game officials on himself.


Manning's sharing of his thoughts seemed to surprise Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, whose former team, the Green Bay Packers, host the Giants next week on Sunday Night Football.

In his gig as a co-host for SiriusXM NFL Radio's Blitz, Favre opined that Manning has been put in a tough spot thanks to Beckham's emotional outbursts.

"I think the role of the quarterback is probably many things, probably the least of which should be critical because you have to work hand in hand and I never really saw any benefit in being critical toward your players," Favre said.

"We all know Beckham is a tremendous player, a dynamic player, but he's shooting himself in the foot which in turn hurts Eli which in turn hurts the team. I don't know Odell so it's not fair for me to say one way or the other, but I think with Eli, I'm pulling him aside and talking to (Beckham), and I'm sure he's done that. There are some things that I'm sure Odell is dealing with between himself that he has to sort out to get back to where he's just playing and leave the other stuff alone."


Favre scoffed brushed off the popular excuse that Beckham is simply emotional, and hence is more prone to having outbursts.

"So what if he's emotional? I think that's great, but it can't disrupt what you're trying to do either individually or from a team's perspective," Favre said.

"We've all heard 'conduct detrimental to the team;' that more or less is what's happening. It's okay to be emotional, but channel that into positive play rather than negative."

--Once upon a time, Beckham Jr. viewed playing football as his "sanctuary" where he could get away from the demands of life and let loose.

These days, however, Beckham has a much different and somewhat darker mood.

"Football is my sanctuary," Beckham said in an ESPN Radio interview with Anita Marks. "It's where I go to escape. It's where I'm most happy. I'm not having fun anymore."

Beckham has come under fire for his emotional outbursts on the Giants sideline the last two weeks, both losing efforts. The 23-year-old receiver has tried to explain that he cares so much about the outcome of the game and that he wants to win in the worst way as a competitor who isn't willing to back down.


However, this week, Beckham's emotions got the better of him as he was flagged for taunting Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes after a questionable sideline incident in which it looked like Rhodes hit Beckham out of bounds following a four-yard reception.

"When we execute better and we spread the ball around and everyone gets opportunities, we're going to have some fun," said Giants head coach Ben McAdoo in his day-after conference call when asked about Beckham's comments to Marks.

Perhaps one of Beckham's biggest frustrations has been his role in the Giants' offense. He told Marks that he doesn't feel that he's "getting the opportunities to contribute" and that he finds that "frustrating."

Through four games this season, Beckham has been targeted 39 times, catching 22 balls for 303 yards with no touchdown. Last season through four games, Beckham was targeted 41 times, catching 24 balls for 307 yards and two touchdowns.

However, this year, Beckham hasn't been getting involved in the game as early.

According to ESPN, the receiver has only been targeted in the passing game eight times in the first quarter of the first four games of the 2016 season.


"We have to be smart with the quarterback and his decision making," McAdoo said regarding the timing of getting Beckham involved.

"You don't ever want to have to force balls that can make a lot of things worse. At the same point in time, it's my responsibility to make sure that a playmaker like Odell Beckham Jr. has an opportunity to touch the football and we're going to continue to work at that."

McAdoo, who last week became the first from the team to express a desire to see Beckham tone down his emotions, said that Beckham's penalty was not a distraction this week.

When pressed further about the star receiver's behavior, McAdoo steered his answer in different direction.

"I think as an offense, we need to get all the penalties and turnovers out of our play," he said when asked about Beckham's comments that officials are specifically targeting him.

"We need to execute better as an offense and understand that the penalties are drive killers and they hold us back, and that we need to eliminate them from our play.

"Every game is officiated different. We get scouting reports on officials the same way we get them on officials, and we need to understand how the games are going to be officiated and you usually find out pretty early."


--TE Larry Donnell (concussion) has been placed in the league's concussion protocol. With a short work week on deck, Donnell, injured in the second quarter of Monday night's loss to the Vikings, seems like a long shot to play Sunday night against the Packers.

--S Nat Berhe, who suffered a concussion in the Week 3 loss to Washington, is still in the league's concussion protocol, according to head coach Ben McAdoo, who added that there is "nothing new" to report on Berhe's status.

--CB Eli Apple (hamstring) is expected to be limited on Wednesday when the Giants return to the practice field, per McAdoo. Apple was inactive Monday night.

--CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) is expected to be limited on Wednesday when the Giants return to the practice field, per McAdoo. Rodgers-Cromartie was active for Monday night's game, dressing only in the event of an emergency give the Giants low numbers in the defensive secondary. However, Rodgers-Cromartie was not pressed into any game action.

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