EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — There are a lot of things Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t like these days.
It starts off with losing and the New York Giants’ 1-5 record. He doesn’t like the continual questions about his recent ESPN interview in which he criticized the team’s energy on the field and its offensive schemes.
New York Giants co-owner John Mara saying earlier this week the NFL’s highest -paid receiver needs to make more headlines on the field than off didn’t draw much of a response.
And there’s one more thing. Despite cramping in two of the last three games and needing IVs, Beckham isn’t a big fan of water.
Beckham hit all those topics Friday before the Giants practiced for Monday night’s game in Atlanta against the disappointing and banged-up Falcons (2-4).
The hot topic was Beckham’s reaction to Mara’s criticism. It was the first time the owner had spoken publicly since Beckham’s ill-advised comments in an interview before a game against Carolina on Oct. 7.
“I respect and value his opinion, obviously, so that’s what we’re going to do,” said Beckham, who added he has not spoken to Mara specifically about the owner’s comments. “Like I said, focus on Atlanta right now and that’s really it.”
Beckham reiterated he has no regrets for his comments in the ESPN interview, noting he tries not to have any regrets in life. He refused to say whether the team fined him.
His biggest concern was the Giants’ record and what he and his teammates could do to change things.
“We need to start winning games and everybody needs to pick it up,” Beckham said. “I need to play better. I can’t say that I’ve had my best season. I can’t say that I’ve done enough to help this team win and I need to do more. Everybody needs to do more. Everybody’s got to pick it up. We win games together, we lose them together. There’s no other way around it. It’s a team sport.”
Beckham’s faith in beleaguered quarterback Eli Manning has not wavered. He said he stands in the huddle all the time and tells Manning, “Take me home, 10.”
“He knows what he’s doing,” the 25-year-old said of the two-time Super Bowl MVP. “He’s the most prepared of anybody I’ve ever seen and that’s exactly what I say, ‘Take me home,’ so we’re going to start picking it up. We got to. We have no other choice.”
While he has only one touchdown catch, Beckham leads the team with 45 receptions for 506 yards.
Beckham said a couple of wins before the bye week would do a lot to reduce the focus on the negative things surrounding the team, which came into the year under new coach Pat Shurmur looking to rebound from a 3-13 season.
The Giants have had 11 days to prepare for this game and Beckham used some of the time to take a step back and clear his head. He’s back in football mode.
“You work 10 hours a day, I say this all the time, 10 hours a day for 60 minutes of football,” he said. “Those 60 minutes are crucial, so we need to take advantage of every minute of it.”
Coincidentally, Beckham has missed a couple of minutes in two of the last three days because he needed an IV after becoming dehydrated.
“I really don’t like water,” he said matter-of-factly. “I’m trying, I just really don’t like when you get that stomach feeling, it’s all slushy, like I’m trying to stay hydrated. Sometimes I just got to get an IV, it’s just necessary. You’re cramping in both calves, it’s hard to run and make cuts and if you’re cramping and dehydrated, you’re susceptible to something else, so I’m trying to stay on top of it the best that I can.”
NOTES: LT Nate Solder and WR Russell Shepard were limited in practice for the second straight day with neck problems. … WR/KR Jawill Davis did not practice Friday because of a concussion. … The Giants signed receiver Corey Coleman to their practice squad. He was the 15th overall selection by the Browns in the 2016 draft. Cleveland traded him to the Buffalo Bills, who released him on Sept. 1. He spent 10 days with the Patriots before being waived. … WR Kalif Raymond was released from the practice squad.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL