Odell Beckham Jr. wants his critics to realize something about him.
“I’m just here at a point in my life where I just want to play football, I just want to win. Period,” he said Tuesday on a Zoom call before practice. “There’s nothing else that can distract and deter me from those goals and I think once I get you all, the world, everyone to understand that I care about one thing, and that’s winning and producing, I think that you’ll be able to see some of the other actions and look at it from a different perspective than a perspective of a lot of the names and attachments that have been thrown off me in a way.”
Beckham, the three-time Pro Bowl receiver, caught three passes for 22 yards Sunday in the 38-6 opening loss to the Ravens. He was targeted 10 times, but had a pivotal drop on a third-and-2, stepped out of bounds to nullify a reception and was penalized 15 yards for pulling a face mask while trying to stiff-arm the defender.
He also drew two penalties on the Ravens that brought first downs.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield targeted Beckham six times on Cleveland’s first possession of the third quarter, and fans and media questioned whether he was forcing the ball to him after a slow first half.
Mayfield said Beckham was drawing a lot of one-on-one coverage during the sequence.
“I mean, that is when the alert goes off in your head, we got a one-on-one with him,” Mayfield said. “You want to get him the ball. But it has to be the right scenario and right situation for us to do that.”
He added getting the ball to Beckham needs to come naturally.
“Obviously you game plan and you scheme up things to get the ball in your playmakers’ hands,” Mayfield said. “But then when it comes to gametime, they are going to give us certain looks that might take that away. We had a couple plays for him early on and the Ravens did a good job of taking that away so we had to go through the reads and get the ball into other guys’ hands.”
Beckham said he processed the lopsided loss like every loss — with difficulty.
“Go to sleep at 5 in the morning, up just thinking,” he said. “When you want to be at a certain level of greatness, anything less or short of that is never going to be acceptable to you.
“I can sit here like it didn’t bother me, and not stats, I just mean as far as the way that the game went, but I’d be lying. I would definitely like for the game to have went a different way.”