NFL Teams
Jordan Raanan, ESPN Staff Writer 43d

Shurmur: OBJ praise of Mayfield not a shot at Eli

NFL, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. dished out compliments about the arm of his new Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on Wednesday. New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur didn't view it as criticism of Beckham's former quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning had been the only starting quarterback Beckham had known as a professional with the Giants. Now, after being traded to the Browns this offseason. Beckham is getting used to working with Mayfield, including this week when he was present for mandatory minicamp.

"I'm also going to have to get adjusted to the speed, because he's got an arm," Beckham said of Mayfield. "He's throwing that ball hard. Just catching him from the first day, it was like, 'Wow, this is completely different.'"

This was viewed by some as a shot at the 38-year-old Manning, who was never known to have one of the league's strongest arms. The Giants struggled to get the ball downfield to Beckham last season.

Shurmur still didn't view the comment as controversial. Manning was unavailable for comment Thursday.

"I would probably think of it as less a criticism of Eli and more ... [Beckham's] getting comfortable with his team. He's around his teammates. He's around his new community. I'm happy for him. He's getting comfortable with his guys," Shurmur said. "I wouldn't say it's criticism of Eli. It's more, hey, he likes who he is playing with."

Mayfield, 24, is coming off a record-breaking rookie season and is considered one of the league's rising young quarterbacks. Beckham talked this week about feeling "giddy" about the chance to start over.

Manning and Beckham had a successful working relationship for much of their five seasons together. Beckham set records during his first three years, and they were always complimentary of each other.

But Beckham voiced concerns about the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback in a sitdown interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson last year, and that played a part in the Giants' decision to trade him.

Manning said earlier this spring that he's "been in touch with" Beckham since the trade.

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