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Ex-Giants coach Tom Coughlin: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘distraction’


Former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin weighed in on all the Odell Beckham Jr. drama by calling his former player a “distraction” while also offering his help.

Coughlin, who coached Beckham for two seasons, says the dynamic but erratic wide receiver has his good qualities. But he added Beckham cannot continue with the kind of irrational antics and meltdowns of the past few weeks.

“He is a good kid. He is a team guy in the team room,” Coughlin said during an appearance this week on CBS Sports Network’s “We Need To Talk,” as transcribed by NJ Advanced Media’s James Kratch. “It’s just when he gets on the field, there’s only one way he knows how to play.

“I would love to try to help him in this regard because I think so highly of him, but for his own good (he needs to calm down) because he is a distraction. If you watch a game, the camera is on him the whole time.”

Coughlin’s comments overall echo the Giants company line on Beckham in recent days, including comments made by head coach Ben McAdoo and Eli Manning.

But it’s important to note that Beckham’s recent behavior arguably stems in part from Coughlin’s reluctance to rein him in when he was the Giants coach, in particular during and amid the fallout involving the Josh Norman incident last season.

Given the recent comments by McAdoo and Manning — not to mention how Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz refused to respond to a question about Beckham following New York’s 24-10 loss to Minnesota Monday night, which included an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Beckham — it certainly appears from the outside that the Giants are growing tired of Beckham’s antics.

While McAdoo insists Beckham’s disposition will improve if the Giants start winning, the case can be made that it shouldn’t take success for Beckham to get his act together and be a good teammate. Suffice to say, Beckham finds himself at a career crossroads of sorts and it’s up to him on how to proceed going forward.