Cleveland Browns: Giants think they can be better without Odell Beckham
The Cleveland Browns believe their offense will be much better in 2019 with the addition of Odell Beckham, Jr. but the Giants say they could be better without him
Last season saw the Cleveland Browns start to click on offense. Quarterback Baker Mayfield set the record for most touchdowns by a rookie as he had a great connection with Freddie Kitchens who took over as the play-caller eight games into the season.
With Kitchens now taking over as the head coach, there’s a lot of optimism running around Berea. That positive feeling only magnified when the Browns landed wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in a trade with the New York Giants.
Picturing him and Mayfield working together on offense has fans salivating ahead of the 2019 season. However, his old team seems to think they can be better even without No. 13 running routes.
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That’s at least what Giants quarterback Eli Manning says as he believes the offense can find a way to put up even more points this season than last.
Manning did praise OBJ as a playmaker and said he can turn any pass into a touchdown in the blink of an eye. From there, he said the offense still can improve due to the players who are still there such as Saquon Barkley as well as newcomers such as Golden Tate and a familiar face to Browns fans in Kevin Zeitler.
"“But I think Saquon, in his second year, the way he came on — he played great in the first half but that second half he was coming on and doing everything. Running the ball, catching the ball, we learned how to use him. I think Sterling Shepard, getting him going, getting Evan Engram playing to his potential, and then Golden Tate, a run-after-catch guy, a playmaker. I think the offensive line we made some additions, bringing in [Kevin} Zeitler at guard and those guys, I think the second year of that offensive line together will make a difference and everybody going into the second year.” — Manning said via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk"
New York does have some good playmakers in Barkley, Tate, and Shepard. Their offensive line should also be better with someone like Zeitler now inserted as the starting right guard. However, it’s not going to be easy to replace a weapon like Beckham. This is a player who had 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns as a rookie despite missing four games.
He’s coming off his fourth season with at least 1,000-yards receiving and is famous for making highlight-reel grabs and breaking short passes for touchdowns. Defenses have to change everything they do when a guy like this is on the field and that opens things up for everyone on the offense.
You have to give it to Manning for feeling confident, and anyone who has two Super Bowl rings has the right to feel that way. Having said that, it feels a bit optimistic to say an offense can be better after losing OBJ.