Pat Shurmur is less concerned about Odell Beckham Jr.’s past whereabouts over the last few weeks and simply excited (and likely a bit thankful) that the New York Giants wide receiver reported to the first day of offseason workouts.
The arrival of Beckham on Monday ends weeks of speculation not just about the player’s tumultuous offseason, but his willingness to be at the team’s facility for workouts.
From vague tweets indicating that he wasn’t going to play in the preseason to videos showing his downtime that created all types of a stir the past few weeks, Beckham has had anything but a quiet and subdued offseason. Then again, this NFL star never seems to do anything quietly.
And his arrival this week at the start of voluntary offseason workouts dominated a conference call with head coach Pat Shurmur. The new head coach inherited a player in Beckham with immense talent and an equally immense ability to confound not just opposing defensive coordinators with his skill, but his own coaching staff and management with his antics.
The past few weeks have done nothing to deter that talking point although Shurmur sounded confident in wanting to move beyond things with Beckham.
“I’m not overthinking this. This is the first day of work, this is the first opportunity for all of us to be here together,” Shurmur said Monday.
“And I think it’s important that Odell is here and I’m looking forward to him getting one day better by being here. And I’m looking forward to him inspiring some of his teammates to get better because he’s here and he’s a terrific player, and I think we can all learn from one another. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the players challenging me to grow, so that we can grow toward some of the things that we were talking about earlier.”
There is no denying that a healthy and checked-in Beckham changes the whole outlook for the Giants.
If Beckham can make it through 16 games and if he can have his head on right, then the Giants have potential on offense. They’ve rebuilt the offensive line and while it isn’t perfect, it is an improvement. And with the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Giants will have the opportunity to get better and, in all likelihood, upgrade that offense a bit more.
Factor in Beckham, arguably the league’s greatest playmaker, and this team could bounce back to respectability as early as this season.
Offseason rumors that the Giants were looking to deal Beckham aside, Shurmur said that while he didn’t talk to the player Monday morning he is looking forward to working with the Pro Bowl wide receiver.
“I’m not worried about it. I really believe that Odell is a professional and he wants to be great,” Shurmur said.
“He understands the importance of the offseason and he’s a competitive guy and, again, we had already started communicating before all that information kind of got out there and was talked about a great deal. He’s a professional and I’m glad he’s here today.”