Life in the limelight hasn’t exactly been straight forward for Odell. At times it has felt like he’s always trying to live up to impossible standards in making one handed catches and always putting on a show. I’ve always thought perhaps he overthinks it all. His time in New York of course came to an end, and we were all on board with the fairytale partnership with best friend Jarvis Landry. Then the season ending injury on an interception return cost him the rest of his second year with the Browns, but now? The comeback of Odell Beckham Jr is overdue.
It feels like as fans we should almost let go of the dream of Odell. In New York he was this electric superstar. You’d rise off your seat every time the ball headed his way. He felt untouchable. But will we ever see Odell play to that level again? It’s even odd to me that he’s approaching 29 years old. Sometimes you feel like these guys are going to play forever. Some are writing him off, but i disagree. Odell has so much left to offer, and I believe the comeback season is well and truly on the cards in Cleveland this year.
Fresh off of rehabbing the injury to his left knee, Odell Beckham looks sharp. Head coach Kevin Stefanski has nothing but praise for the work he is putting in with QB Baker Mayfield, and I’d imagine will be excited to utilise Odell’s skill set in his offence. The scary thing is, with Stefanski’s arrival last season, the Browns were top 8 in passing. Which considering journalists had spent the years before that hounding Baker as a bust… is pretty good going. And that was without Odell for half the season… I said when they hired Stefanski that the Browns got the best possible head coach for Baker Mayfield, and I believe that this season the same holds true for Odell Beckham. Just look at the production Stefanski helped to produce in Minnesota for Case Kennum, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. He knows how to get the best out of his guys, and how to appropriately fit them into his scheme.
In terms of numbers, Odell was down on receptions compared to previous years in 2020, before he got hurt. Through 7 games he only managed 43 targets, of which 23 were catches, for a total of 319 yards and 3 TDs. Those don’t feel like Odell Beckham numbers. Compare that to the previous year, when he first arrived, 1,035 yards and 4 TDs in the regular season… that’s more like it. Odell has been over 1000 yards in every season he’s been healthy since he entered the league, and I think he can get back to that because of the following:
He was still at 13.9 yards per attempt despite the lower targets. But his yards after catch totals were almost non existent. He only had 44 yards after the catch, in comparison to years he spent in New York with totals of 481, 591, 532.. even if Odell had finished the season, he was on course for around 100 yards after the catch. I think that will change and Stefanski and the Browns will get him into space more often. That’s the first thing.
On top of that, as previously mentioned, both Odell and Baker have had a lot more time together now. As well as the rest of the offence, with the new coaching staff in place, and things should be even smoother for the Browns offensively this year. Cleveland have one of if not the best offensive line in football these days, as well as a terrifying one two punch in the backfield, and teams just won’t have time to worry about Odell Beckham as well. Jarvis Landry is just as dangerous, albeit more of a safe option. I’d like to see the Browns really open up the playbook for Odell in 2021, and utilise him the way he used to play in the blue 13 for the Giants.
Of course, a little piece of me still believes that maybe they just don’t need him. Is he a luxury that’s just surplus to requirements? Technically yes, there are guys on the depth chart who could do a very good job. Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples Jones and rookie Anthony Schwartz could all contribute. So why not move Odell and refocus? Sadly, his value is down. They’d never get the return they paid for him, not following the injury, and Odell is approaching 29 years old. So don’t bother, there’s no point.
Liaten. Odell Beckham Jr is an NFL poster boy and one of the most popular names in the NFL for a reason. With all the things I just mentioned, and the work he’s been putting in to get back to his best, I’d be happy to bet on him surpassing 1000 yards once again. Here’s to hoping he’s healthy all season again, because football is simply better when Odell is on the field.
Comeback of Odell Beckham Jr Comeback of Odell Beckham Jr Comeback of Odell Beckham Jr