Tiki Barber thinks Odell Beckham Jr. is a better natural receiver than Dez Bryant, but also ripped the New York Giants star for not focusing on the right things. During his radio show Friday, Barber compared Beckham’s antics to those of the Dallas Cowboys wideout and claimed the Giants receiver is a “look-at-me” player.
Here are his full comments from Friday’s Tiki and Tierney show:
“What I want for Odell is to take that emotion and channel it into something positive. I know it’s hard because he’s not a running back where if you get upset emotionally, you go pound somebody (you’re blocking) or you stick it to a defender. But how many targets does he get in a game? Ten? And you run 60 plays? So there’s a large portion of the game where you’re just not relevant to the outcome. But I would love to see him find a way to channel it into something positive, even if it’s just yelling to encourage his teammates. Don’t go off by yourself.
“He’s a look-at-me player. If he’s balling, nobody cares. But as soon as you start losing, as soon as you start drifting a little bit — and it feels like the Giants are vulnerable to a little bit of drift right now — they have to lock it in. Ben McAdoo and Mike Sullivan, the offensive coordinator, they got to lock him in. They can’t allow him to just get up and say, ‘I’m going to be who I am. I’m going to do what I want to do.’ No, you’re part of a team, buddy. You’re a good player. You’re a great player. People love you because of who you are and how you behave and how you act and the touchdowns and the celebrations. But you’re part of a team. And if you don’t recognize that, then somewhere down the line, you will not be part of the team.”
There’s a lot to unpack there. Beckham is just 23 years old and is already a two-time Pro Bowler. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 and a Second-team All-Pro last season. That’s a lot of success to have at a young age and could make it really hard to not be a “look-at-me” player.
That said, despite being one of the NFL’s top pure talents, Beckham’s immaturity does show up often. But being a guy who stands out for his antics is how players get noticed these days and it gets fans talking about them. You want endorsements? Stand out.
For better or worse, Beckham has done that during his brief NFL career. It’s working for him whether Barber likes it or not.