Beckham told ESPN on Tuesday that he is frustrated with the increased amount of attention on his behavior during games, saying he is "not having fun anymore" playing football.
"For his own good, [he needs to learn to channel his passion]," Coughlin, who coached the Giants from 2004 through 2015, told the CBS Sports Network on Tuesday. "And I would love to try to help him in this regard because I think so highly of him. ... He is a distraction. If you watch a game, the camera is on him the whole time."
Beckham has fallen on hard times this season. He had a career-worst 23 receiving yards on just three catches against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday. He also was flagged for a taunting penalty, and he repeatedly clashed with Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes just one week after his latest confrontation with outspoken cornerback Josh Norman, now with the Washington Redskins.
A source told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder on Wednesday that NFL officiating crews have actually been instructed to be watchful of opponents trying to provoke Beckham into acts that might result in a penalty. The source also said Beckham has to be willing to help himself with more appropriate behavior.
NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino declined to comment.
Coughlin, who remains under contract with the Giants through this season, said he can help. Beckham was star playing for Coughlin the past two seasons, catching 187 passes for 2,755 yards and 25 touchdowns while twice making the Pro Bowl after being selected with the 12th pick in the 2014 draft.
"He really believes that he is at his best at the top of his passion," Coughlin said. "He is so talented. I don't think there's anything the kid can't do. He is a good kid. He is a team guy in the team room. It's just when he gets on the field, there's only one way he knows how to play."
The Giants have targeted Beckham in the first quarter just eight times over their first four games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. When asked about potentially getting more involved in making offensive adjustments on the sideline, Beckham expressed more frustration.
"What I'm communicating, we're not doing," he told ESPN. "I'm not getting the opportunities to contribute, and that's frustrating to me."