Cleveland Browns should not start forcing the ball to Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. made it known he is frustrated he is unable to contribute in losses, but it does not mean the Cleveland Browns should force him the ball.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was fine not making receptions when the team was winning. As long as the team was winning, Beckham did not care how often he touched the ball.
However, after their crushing loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Beckham let his feelings known that he wants the ball. He wants to be able to help the team contribute and does not want to feel like he didn’t help the team when they lose.
Beckham shared with the media on Thursday that he feels he could be doing more to help the team win, and that means he wants to get the ball – via Jake Trotter of ESPN.
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"“I hate losing, period,” Beckham said Thursday, three days after the San Francisco 49ers throttled the Browns 31-3. “Any time we lose and I don’t feel like I did anything to help win the game, I’m gonna be frustrated. That’s just the bottom line. I’m a winner in my heart and I hate losing.” – Beckham via ESPN"
If the Browns were able to get the ball to Beckham more, it would clearly help the offense. Beckham is an electric playmaker when the ball is in his hands and he is a hassle for defenders to cover. But so far this season, the Browns have been unable to see many glimpses of the playmaker he can be because they have been unable to get him the ball.
Even if the Browns and Baker Mayfield want to put the ball in Beckham’s hands more, it does not mean they should just force him the ball. If Mayfield is going to force the ball to Beckham even if he is tightly covered, it could lead to even more problems for the offense, including an increased chance of throwing interceptions.
Although Beckham is facing plenty of double coverage and is being bracketed by safeties, the Browns should be able to scheme ways to get the ball in his hands. Beckham’s talent makes him scheme versatile and he can do anything asked of him in terms of route running. It just takes the coaching staff to call the right plays at the time to beat coverages to help Beckham get space.
The Browns started to show that early against the 49ers. Even though he wasn’t making receptions, Freddie Kitchens and Todd Monken were finding ways to get the ball in Beckham’s hands. It may not be as simple to do so in the passing game, but it is possible.
But even though the Browns can scheme ways to get Beckham the ball, they have to let it naturally fall into the game plan. They can’t just decide they need to throw the ball to Beckham on a certain play, no matter the coverage. That is when mistakes can happen and create even more problems for the offense.
The Browns can find ways to get the ball to Beckham more. In a sense, they should be forcing Beckham into the game plan. But it does not mean they should be throwing the ball to him without care, because of if they do, it could just lead to more interceptions and further the problems on the offensive side of the ball.