Sportress of Blogitude

Eli Manning: Odell Beckham Jr. should lighten up over teammate’s jokes


Odell Beckham Jr. sat out this week’s minicamp due a sore hamstring and he appeared to be generally irritated by the ribbing comments being made at his expense by his New York Giants teammates and coaches. Quarterback Eli Manning has one piece of advice for the talented, young wide receiver: Lighten up.

“You’re not practicing, people are gonna get on you a little bit,” Manning said during a Friday appearance on WFAN’s “Boomer and Carton” show, via a report from the New York Daily News. “If you’re not practicing, you’ve got to sit there and take it.”

Manning stressed that the comments weren’t mean-spirited in the least, so Beckham needs to take it in stride.

“It’s fun-loving,” he said. “People might say, ‘How’s your fingernail?'”

Beckham skipped a media interview on Thursday, presumably over sore feelings, not a sore hamstring, but expressed his frustration with the jokes and ribbing during an interview earlier in the week with ESPN.

“For me, this is what I love doing, and this is what I feel like my purpose was to do,” he said. “So it takes a lot of strength for me to be able to come here every day and not practice, have to hear the little remarks, the little jokes, this and that.”

Beckham sat out of training camp last year and missed the Giants’ first four games of his rookie season with another hamstring issue before he rocketed to superstardom, something he acknowledges has a bit to do with being the butt of his teammates’ jokes.

When asked who exactly is giving him such a hard time, Beckham said, “Everybody,” adding, “Because of the hamstring last year and then the fame, it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re too big-time now,’ all that. So I mean, I just hear it and you want to blow it off, but after a while it gets old, and it kind of bothers you.”

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said the young receiver needs to mellow out a bit about all of it, saying, “Worry about things you can control and not about those you can’t.”

Beckham clearly needs to develop a thicker skin. As both Manning and Coughlin indicated, it’s all in good fun. There’s no reason to sulk over it.