Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham. Jr. wants more targets in 2020
This comes after his first campaign in Cleveland didn’t go as well as planned. Beckham, who was traded to the Browns from the New York Giants in a blockbuster trade, finished with 74 receptions for 1,035 yards with four touchdowns.
Those numbers didn’t satisfy him and neither did all the noise surrounding him. Beckham spent much of the season fighting through injuries and answering questions about his happiness with the team as well as being talked to about cleats, visors, and watches.
Now, he heads into 2020 with more focus and even pointed to his return to blond hair as proof that he wants to bring the old OBJ back to the field.
With that, he’s also saying he wants to see the ball come his way more often. The quote about trying to “kill” came from a roundtable conversation with New England quarterback Cam Newton, former Giants receiver Victor Cruz, and Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley. And in addition to those words and his blond hair, OBJ dropped a nugget about wanting more targets.
"“I want an opportunity to catch the ball,‘’ he said during the discussion via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I want the same opportunities that all of these other receivers have in the league when they’re getting 2,000 targets, ending up with 150 catches, I want to be in a position where I can succeed because football is not the same as basketball. Football is so much more of a team sport.‘’"
Beckham has made no apologies for speaking his mind and it’s part of what makes him so polarizing. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and he says exactly what he wants. And what he wants is the same thing every receiver in the NFL wants — the football.
The one question is whether or not he’s going to get enough targets. And if we look at things objectively, there are concerns there.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski is a run-first guy which was evident in the way he called plays for the Minnesota Vikings last season. Proof of that came in Kirk Cousins falling under 4,000-yards passing for the first time since 2015 — finishing with 3,603 yards through the air.
As for the receivers, Stefon Diggs was their biggest star and his frustration became so evident that he was traded to the Buffalo Bills in the offseason. Diggs finished with 63 receptions for 1,130 yards on 94 targets which was a significant drop off from his 149 targets and 102 receptions the year prior — and the drop in targets was even with Adam Thielen missing six games.
What Beckham has to try and focus on though, is the efficiency. Diggs was very effective with a career-high 17.9 yards per catch compared to 10.0 the year before.
Beckham isn’t the only Cleveland player who will need to remember this as players such as Jarvis Landry, and even the newly acquired Austin Hooper might not get the same targets they had in 2019.
Of course, if the team is winning, chances are no one will care because as Beckham said — football is a team sport and they all share the same goal. But then again, they get paid to perform so there’s always a huge benefit when they do get those coveted targets.