Odell Beckham Jr.: Focus is on beating Falcons, winning games

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. says he respects and values the opinion of New York Giants co-owner John Mara, who said earlier this week that he wants his star wide receiver to make more noise with his play than his words.

Speaking Friday, Beckham seemed to take Mara's critique in stride.

"I respect and value his opinion, obviously," he said. "So that's what we're going to do, like I said, focus on Atlanta right now. That's really it."

Mara told Newsday earlier this week that he and Beckham will eventually sit down and talk. Beckham said that hasn't yet happened, instead intimating they have talked but not in an extended session.

Beckham took the high road when asked whether he should be free to speak his mind.

"I'm ready to talk about the Atlanta Falcons. That's really it," Beckham said. "That's the focus right now. We need to start winning games. I want to win, too, just as bad as everybody else. That's really it. I just want to win."

Beckham questioned his role and quarterback Eli Manning's part in the team's offensive struggles during a recent interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson. He made it clear Friday that he had no regrets for his comments -- that's not how he operates.

"Never," Beckham said. "I've said this all the time: Never have any regrets. At one point in time, it was exactly what you wanted to say. It is what it is. I don't believe in 'everything is a test' or anything like that. Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow. That's really it. There are no more tests. The testing is over. You've prepared for the test, you've studied for them. It's just an opportunity to learn and grow."

Following the interview, Beckham addressed the team on the Saturday night before its last-second loss to the Carolina Panthers. Coach Pat Shurmur publicly condemned Beckham for his actions and comments in the interview, and the Giants also fined him an undisclosed amount.

"It is what it is," Beckham answered when he was asked about the discipline. "You just take it on the chin. You know, it is what it is."

Shurmur wants to move past the interview. It's two weeks in the past, and the Giants desperately need a win. He has spoken to players in a group and some privately about how they will be judged by what they say and how they act.

"I mean, [Beckham] spoke. I've moved on from that," the coach said. "The ESPN interview is going to be part of our DNA. We've moved on, and I think that is important for everybody to understand. But it's not when everybody keeps asking him about it, right? And if he tells you the same answer all the time, then that is that."

Beckham was asked again Friday about Manning's play. He denied there was any doubt inside the locker room about the quarterback's ability to get the job done.

Manning has thrown just six touchdown passes in six games.

"I think that we're 1-5 and we need to start winning games," Beckham said. "Everybody needs to pick it up. I need to play better. I can't say that I've had my best game. I can't say I've done enough to help this team win, and I need to do more. Everybody needs to do more. Everybody has to pick it up. We win games together, we lose them together. There is no other way around it. It's a team sport."

Beckham has 45 catches for 506 yards but only one touchdown. He knows he can do better.

But he also doesn't know for sure whether Manning can get the Giants to where they need to go.

"You have to ask him. I tell him every time we get into the huddle, 'Take me home, 10,'" Beckham said. "What he says to me carries weight because he's been there. He knows how to win. He knows what he's doing. He's the most prepared of anybody I've ever seen, and that is exactly what I say, 'Take me home.'"

It hasn't happened enough this season. The Giants enter this week 27th in the NFL, averaging 19.5 points per game in an eventful six weeks for Beckham & Co. Has it helped him grow?

"I guess we'll see," Beckham said. "I feel like I've grown since last year, but there are still times when I find myself in a situation. Only time can tell. No talking, words. It's all about actions."

His next opportunity to prove it is Monday night in Atlanta.

"My focus is on football," Beckham said. "I need to do more. I need to do better. Period. There is nothing more I can say about it."