After skipping out on nearly every single offseason training activity that the Browns held this offseason, Odell Beckham made sure to show up to Cleveland this week for the team’s mandatory practices.
Not only was the Browns’ star wide receiver in attendance when the team’s minicamp kicked off on Tuesday, but he also spoke to the media this week for the first time since his introductory.
During an interview on Wednesday, Beckham spent nearly 20 minutes answering questions, with a lot of that focused on how he’s spent his offseason. Instead of spending the past two months in Cleveland, Beckham made the decision to train out in Los Angeles, which caused him to miss nine of the Browns’ 10 OTAs.
Beckham didn’t have to give an explanation for why he skipped the team’s voluntary sessions, but he did anyway.
“I know my body better than anyone else,” Beckham said, via the team’s official Twitter account. “I know what it takes to get me in top physical condition, mental, all of those things. This isn’t my my first rodeo. This is not my first go-round. I just know what it takes to get there.”
According to Beckham, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens was well aware that he wouldn’t be showing up for most of the voluntary stuff.
“Coach and I had a different plan than everyone else knows,” Beckham said. “We talked and communicated throughout the entire offseason, so he knew my whereabouts and when I’d be here, coming in, and when I wouldn’t be. Everybody kind of knew the gameplan. Just taking my time, easing back into it.”
If there’s one downside to skipping OTAs, especially for a player joining a new team, it’s that you can fall behind learning the playbook, but fortunately for the Browns, Beckham said that won’t be an issue for him.
“I’ve always been a pretty smart guy when it comes to the playbook, so it won’t be too hard to pick up,” the receiver said.
Now that he’s in Cleveland, one adjustment Beckham is going to have to make involves Baker Mayfield. Apparently, Mayfield throws slightly faster than Beckham’s old quarterback in New York, Eli Manning.
“I have to get adjusted to the speed, because he’s got an arm,” Beckham said when asked about Mayfield. “He’s throwing that ball hard, so just catching him from the first day it was like, ‘Wow, this is different.'”
Although Beckham has now gone through two full practices with Mayfield, he said the two are still working on their chemistry.
“It just takes time,” Beckham said, via Cleveland.com. “The good news is we play in September. We have a lot of time to build chemistry. We’re both going to be in [Los Angeles], throwing every day, going over the plays, going over the nuances, the little stuff above the Xs and Os.”
Beckham hasn’t been in Cleveland long, but based on highlights from practice, it looks like he’s already working together quite well with his new quarterback.
One thing that Beckham already loves about Mayfield is the quarterback’s swagger.
“I’ve watched Baker since Oklahoma,” Beckham said. “I think it’s the confidence carries himself with. You can’t coach that on anybody. That’s something comes from within you. He really has that, it’s on display always. I know you guys see it. You have to love that about him.”
Beckham and Mayfield will get one more practice together this week when the Browns hold their final session of minicamp on Thursday. After that, the team will be off until training camp begins in late July, but that doesn’t mean the two won’t be working out together. As Beckham mentioned, he plans to hold multiple throwing sessions with Mayfield this summer in Los Angeles.