Odell Beckham Jr. continues to be a topic of discussion after the Giants wild card playoff loss to the Packers. The Giants were back in East Rutherford emptying out their lockers for the final time this season and Eli Manning was asked questions by reporters and said OBJ has “got to back it up” if he draws attention to himself. Several media outlets, including ESPN, have run Manning’s quotes regarding OBJ and the game.
OBJ and his fellow wide receivers spent their off day in Miami last week and the infamous boat picture was fodder for talk radio leading up to Sunday’s game. As predicted by many, the Giants lost and people who are intellectually lazy are blaming the boat trip and pointing fingers at OBJ. To be fair, OBJ did no play well but neither did the majority of the Giants. But the Miami trip was not the reason the team lost, and Manning doesn’t think so either:
I don’t think it had an impact on the game. I thought we had a great week of practice. Guys were making plays and running around and intense and focused and everything [was] good. Unfortunately we just didn’t have it yesterday.
Manning like the rest of the Giants brass know that OBJ is supremely talented but do want him to be aware of the perceptions created by some of his actions. Manning continued:
You’ve got to learn that the perception of things makes it different. You do things, you’ve got to back it up.
Ultimately that’s where things sit with the mercurial superstar wider receiver. This is OBJ’s third year in the league and he needs to start being mindful of how things are perceived externally. Whether it’s an off day trip or a passionate outburst on the sideline, people are going to make a big deal out of it. No matter what it is, if he does anything and his play on the field is less than stellar he is going to be scrutinized.
See video of Eli’s comments below.