The Cleveland Browns seem like they are moving toward separation from Odell Beckham Jr. The team excused him from practice for the second day on Thursday, a clear indication that he is not in their plans for Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
During media availability, players (as well as coaches) have said all the right things about wanting or accepting Beckham back. With the possibility of his return still lingering, although unlikely, players are smart to put out supportive language on the record.
Off the record, we are starting to get a different side to the story. While Beckham’s father reposted a video of his son being open and LeBron James tweeted out #FreeOBJ, very little has been shared about problems with the talented receiver.
That started to change later on Thursday with NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reporting that an unnamed player did not have flattering things to say about Beckham:
“He does nothing. He talks to no one. He’s just got a malcontent attitude.”
Aditi Kinkhabwala, also of the NFL Network, also insinuated some concerns related to the receiver’s play on the field. At the end of this video, after sharing the team’s support of Baker Mayfield, Kinkhabwala talks about the timing-based offense run by the Browns:
As she noted, in a clear statement against the video posted by Beckham’s father, an open receiver isn’t always where he is supposed to be or his quarterback expects him. In fact, a video made by former NFL quarterback JT Sullivan when the Browns acquired Beckham showed similar concerns from his time in New York.
A few statements Sullivan makes in the video echo Kinkhabwala’s final statements in the above video:
“There is not a lot of anticipation when you’re throwing to him.”
“Lot of dancing at the line of scrimmage.”
“It is really hard to throw to a guy like that because you never know where he is, when he is coming out (of his break).”
“Ocho (Chad Johnson) used to do this kind of stuff. He would be open, he would be wide open every play. Now, he should have been running a post and run an out but he’s gonna be wide open on the sideline.”
Watch the full video here: