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Odell Beckham Jr. has no regrets, thinks remarks galvanized Giants

CHARLOTTE -- Odell Beckham Jr. addressed the New York Giants over the weekend about his comments during an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson and explained after Sunday's 33-31 loss to the Carolina Panthers that he had "no regrets" and was trying to clear the air.

Beckham said in that interview that he didn't know if quarterback Eli Manning was the issue for the Giants' offensive problems and noted he thought the Giants lacked energy and heart. It prompted Beckham to have a private conversation with Manning, coach Pat Shurmur and later his teammates as a group.

Beckham didn't apologize or take back his comments, and even thinks it had a positive effect on the team.

"I don't regret anything," he said. "I don't regret anything that I said. If it took that for us to come together as a team like we did [Sunday]. I can take that every single time."

The feelings he expressed had been building since a Week 2 loss to the Cowboys.

"It's been on my heart. And I think all the stuff that was built up inside, it just kinda -- it came out in the wrong way. And I texted [Shurmur], and I asked if I could have a minute to just talk to the team, because I feel like if we're not all on the same page ... if it's not authentic and real, and we can all understand each other, then there's always gonna be miscommunication," Beckham said after Sunday's loss. "So to be able to do that was big for me. I was nervous to get up there and -- these are your brothers you see every day; but once you're up there in front of all of 'em, it's a little nerve-racking. So I'm just excited about the way we pulled together. Like I said, we came up short; but we fought [Sunday]."

Beckham's fight on Sunday manifested itself in an eight-catch, 131-yard performance that included his first receiving touchdown of the season and a 57-yard touchdown pass to running back Saquon Barkley.

Several of Beckham's teammates said after the game they didn't think it was necessary for him to address the entire team. They thought it was beneficial.

"One-hundred percent a positive," veteran wide receiver Russell Shepard said. "We played our asses off [Sunday]. It showed. We just didn't finish the game."

Manning didn't seem all that concerned with the comments.

"I haven't heard anything," he said after throwing two late touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. "Odell and I have a great relationship. Our mindset will be everybody stay focused on beating Philadelphia."

The Giants (1-4) play the Eagles (2-3) next on Thursday night.

Beckham was content with the results of the meeting, which he and Shurmur both said happened at the player's urging.

"It was very receptive," he said. "I'm happy I did because there was a part of me that was a little reluctant or didn't want to because it was a tough position. It was a hard thing to do. It was part of the growth process I'm going through. And if I could do it all again, I would do the same thing."

He later added: "I haven't felt any more closer [to my teammates] than I have in the last 24 hours and, like I said, if it took that to bring us together, I can take that. I can carry that."

Shurmur wanted to turn the page on the incident. He spoke Friday about the comment on the team not having enough heart and energy. Shurmur publicly disagreed with that assessment. He thought the offensive struggles were a matter of execution.

After the Giants topped 30 points for the first time since the final game of the Tom Coughlin era in 2015, Shurmur was heated. He didn't want to talk about Beckham's comments.

"All right, listen, I'm going to answer all the drama questions right now and I'm going to go back to what I said. I addressed it with Odell. I addressed it with our team," Shurmur said in an animated tone. "I publicly declared that I didn't agree with his comments and I asked anybody that was interested if they wanted clarification [to] go to Odell because he's a big man. Now, I'm not going to give the public a pound of flesh on this, all right. That would make me small, not strong. And these are the kind of things, in my opinion, when we have the locker room that we have that will help galvanize them because the locker room took care of it, and that is all I'm saying on it. Finito. Done Let's talk football, not drama."

Beckham's day had its ups and downs. He dropped a key fourth-down pass in the first quarter and had a punt return hit his foot as he tried to block that was recovered for a touchdown.

The Pro Bowl receiver also made his fair share of plays, including his second-quarter touchdown pass to Barkley and his 33-yard touchdown catch with 8:08 remaining that put the Giants back in the game. They eventually took the lead with just over a minute remaining but lost on a crushing 63-yard field goal with one second remaining.

"I'm proud of where we stand, even though we're 1-4," Beckham said. "This game [Sunday] is going to be monumental for our season in my eyes."

Meanwhile, wide receiver Sterling Shepard was upset in the second half as the game appeared to be slipping away. He was seen punching the bench and flipping over a can.

Ironically, it was Beckham who tried to calm Shepard down.