<
>

Odell Beckham Jr.: 'I can rub a lot of people the wrong way'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Yes, Odell Beckham Jr. believes the Jaguars' defensive backs were targeting him in Saturday's preseason game. But he also said that he understands why, that he believes the Jaguars won't be the last team to do it, and that he bears some of the responsibility for the targeting.

"I know it may be a little bit self-inflicted," Beckham said before New York Giants practice Wednesday. "I can rub a lot of people the wrong way if they don't know me. I'm sure a lot of it is caused by me dancing and having fun. I know I wouldn't want somebody breaking up a pass and dancing in my face."

A moment later, Beckham said he had no plans to change the way he celebrates on the field and that he expects teams to continue trying to attack him and get under his skin.

"I can understand why things may be the way they are," Beckham said. "I'm just going to have to handle it."

Beckham's teammate and fellow Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz caused a bit of a stir Tuesday when he said he felt the Jaguars' defensive backs were "gunning for" Beckham in the game. Both Cruz and Beckham said they believe the tape shows Jaguars defensive backs going after Beckham instead of the ball when the ball was in the air. Beckham admitted to pulling up short on a couple of catches in order to avoid getting hurt but made it clear Wednesday that, in a regular-season game, "I'm going to go for the catch."

Beckham did get into it a bit with Jaguars safety Sergio Brown on his final play of the game, shoving Brown out of bounds after the two got tangled up on a deep route. Beckham kidded about the incident Wednesday and pointed out that no flags were thrown, which is correct. But he has spoken on more than one occasion about the importance of controlling his emotions on the field when opponents try to get under his skin.

"He's not going to be that way, I don't believe," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "You've got to stay away from those personal battles, and that's a general statement. No matter who you are, you've got to stay away from the personal stuff. But I think Odell's going to be fine there."

While he clearly agrees with Cruz's assessment of the way the Jaguars played him, Beckham insisted he's not angry about it and that he understands why it happened and why it will continue to happen. When you have the kind of success Beckham had as a rookie -- catching 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in only 12 games -- you're naturally going to be a target. Especially when you're as flamboyant about it as Beckham was.

"At the end of the day, its football," Beckham said, "and you're going to get hit."