WASHINGTON — Odell Beckham Jr. was getting roasted on Twitter for his ill-timed Miami trip no sooner than the Giants lost their opening round playoff game to the Packers on Sunday.
When photos first surfaced of Beckham boating with fellow Giants receivers on their off-day in the week leading up to the playoff game, you just knew it would be hotly discussed on every sports blog, television and radio program that covers the NFL — and it was.
Former Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss saw the writing on the wall for Beckham. Days before the Giants took the field in Green Bay, Moss wondered — from the mindset of a former player — why Beckham would invite such criticism so blatantly. He telegraphed how the narrative could spin out of control for Beckham if New York did lose.
“I’m from Miami. When I got breaks, Miami didn’t see me,” Moss told Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. “I wouldn’t allow myself to go there because I know I can get caught up in some things that, if I didn’t play as well as I wanted to play come the next week or whatever, or that week, then I know I’m gonna have that lingering in my head saying that I went outside the box and did something different that I shouldn’t have done.”
“These guys probably have done even worse things, but they haven’t been [on video] or people haven’t taken pictures of it,” he said. “I just feel like you have to be careful. You have to be smart. But if they go out there and play the way they know how to play and win it, then it’s really just bulletin board talk.”
The Giants didn’t live up to that last part, losing 38-13, a game in which Beckham contributed four catches for 28 yards and no touchdowns, and dropped anywhere between two and four passes — depending on the stats book you’re looking at — on 11 targets.
Beckham dismissed the notion that his Miami trip in any away affected his play: “There was nothing that could connect seven days ago to today and how we came out and played and executed. There’s just nothing in the world. That’s not realistic.”
Giants GM Jerry Reese took a different view of his star receiver: “He’s a smart guy, but sometimes he doesn’t do smart things. We all had to grow up at different times in our lives. I think it’s time for him to do it now. He’s been here three years now.”
“They’re grown men. They can do what they please,” Moss said last week. “We’re living in a time now where everything is [on] video, people take all the pictures of you, so it’s almost, you can’t do much if you’re in the spotlight, if you’re that guy, if you’re those guys. The only problem I had with it is that when you’re a professional, you have to be professional.
“Miami isn’t going anywhere; you have a game on [Sunday]. So that means you have one less day to rest, one less day to get over whatever. I understand they played half a game and I understand you had time off, just know it’s going to be people out there and it’s not going to be easy. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to be in that situation.”
“You’ve got to try to as a professional not concern yourself with what the TV’s saying, radio’s saying, blogs — I get it,” Dukes said to Moss. “But, they lose, what is going to be put up on that screen?”
“Odell Beckham and the wide receivers,” Moss replied.
“Why give them the ammunition?” Dukes asked.
“That’s what I’m saying. That was my argument about it,” Moss said. “I wouldn’t give no one a chance to say ‘this is why this happened.’ At the end of the day, them going to Miami is not going to cost them a win or a loss. I just feel like it’s something to give people to talk about if it doesn’t go your way.”
Wise words from the veteran.