Odell Beckham will be a distraction whether Giants win or lose

How many interventions does it take to reach Odell Beckham Jr.? At least one for each touchdown he scored on Sunday apparently, but clearly that won’t even be sufficient.

For if Ben McAdoo’s message to his star receiver were an email, it would be stuck in the coach’s outbox until he locates some Wi-Fi and re-sends. Maybe he’ll find a connection at the team’s London hotel on Friday.

No, McAdoo isn’t defending The Odell Beckham Jr. Show, the kicking net proposals and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, even after Beckham’s on-field heroics lifted the Giants to Sunday’s 27-23 win over the Ravens at MetLife Stadium.

“We need to keep our focus on the ball game,” McAdoo said Monday in his weekly conference call of Beckham’s going down on one knee for the whole world to see.

McAdoo even reprimanded his star receiver for removing his helmet while celebrating the eventual game-winning touchdown, which drew a penalty that backed up the Giants’ kickoff from the 35-yard line to the 20.

“He came up to me right after. We had a discussion about it. Can’t have it. He knows that,” McAdoo said. “He went out and wanted to fire up our kick coverage and the defense. He knows we can’t have it.”

Does he, though? Does Beckham know? If he does, he’s ignoring the knowledge, because Beckham continues to act contrary to his coach’s private and public calls for humility, restraint and discipline.

It’s a wonder, then, why McAdoo possibly would think one more conversation could drive the point home.

Giants coach Ben McAdoo

(TANNEN MAURY/EPA)

McAdoo’s stepping out Monday and chastising Beckham again, however, is significant because it marks the coach essentially backing up his Week 3 comment that Beckham’s tantrum that day had been a “distraction.”

That comment was basically McAdoo’s first foray into the New York media meat-grinder, outside of his inaction regarding Josh Brown’s domestic violence arrest. McAdoo could have seen the headlines he’d made calling out Beckham and decided he was better-suited keeping his thoughts on Beckham private.

And maybe McAdoo did decide that then. But maybe Beckham’s decision Sunday to escalate the celebrations and the sideshow on Sunday — including a highlight on ESPN that appeared to show Beckham screaming “fine me!” as he frolicked — convinced the coach to resume marking every instance he deemed unacceptable.

It certainly got the attention of Beckham’s other early-season critic, Eli Manning, who indicated again on his weekly WFAN spot Monday that the Giants could do without all the extracurriculars.

“With the win you can ignore it a little bit easier,” Manning said. “You can get real sick of it if he goes out there and is not making plays.”

Listen: Beckham, 23, is intelligent and hard-working. He was impressively reflective during training camp, discussing his aspirations, his desire to be great, and seeking out winners everywhere including LeBron James to learn how to perfect his craft, his regimen and his routine.

When the cameras aren’t on, Beckham would surprise most people with how little his personality matches the popularized version of him on highlight shows around the country. There is a reason for that, though: When the cameras turn on and emotions run high, Beckham often seemingly can’t control his.

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham runs away for a touchdown.

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham runs away for a touchdown.

(Bill Kostroun/AP)

He may actually do himself a disservice, in fact, by being so level-headed behind the scenes. Because then when he unthinkably rips his helmet off to celebrate a touchdown on Sunday – following repeated urgings to control himself to avoid hurting the team — it leaves only these options: A. Beckham hears his coach and does what he wants anyway. Or B. Beckham, in the moment, has no control.

In other words, because it’s obvious in the quiet moments that his heart is in the right place — he wants to win, he wants to be a team player, he works his butt off — it is impossible to rationalize his behavior in anything but one of those two ways.

It’s too bad the NFL can’t just suspend its rules for Sunday’s Week 7 game in London against the L.A. Rams at Twickenham Stadium. They love ‘football’ celebrations in Europe. Soccer’s Cristiano Ronaldo rips his shirt off after scoring big goals. Beckham would fit right in, and undeniably, he sells tickets, he puts fans in the seats.

But here’s the thing: Beckham sells tickets with his talent alone. He is a megastar because of his performance. He doesn’t need to seek out more attention. (Really, is there anyone in the NFL other than the Steelers’ Antonio Brown who can do what Beckham does in space? It’s remarkable. Give him two yards and he’s gone.)

McAdoo may be correct that Beckham “knows” the Giants can’t afford these penalties and sideshows, but the behavior persists. The Giants need Beckham’s talent on the field, but it’s an open question how sustainable his volatility is at such a high-profile position, particularly playing for a blue-collar head coach who prefers guys who just put their heads down and grind.

Beckham works, but he likes to do it with his head up, and on Sunday, with his helmet off.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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