Giants drama: Pat Shurmur says Odell Beckham situation is 'finito'; OBJ: 'I don't regret anything'
Are the Giants coming undone at the seams? Pat Shurmur doesn't think so
It all started Sunday, shortly before the Giants faced the Panthers. In a taped interview with ESPN, Odell Beckham Jr. said, among other things, that he "didn't know" if the Giants had a quarterback issue, and when asked if he was happy in New York, called it "a tough question."
You can read all Beckham's interview here but as you might imagine, his words created the media firestorm for a team desperately trying to find its identity after a 1-3 start. After the Giants lost to the Panthers, 33-31, in an eminently winnable game, first-year coach Pat Shurmur nixed any notion that Beckham's words were going to divide a team that, on the outside, might appear to be on the precipice of unraveling.
"All right, listen, I'm going to answer all the drama questions right now and I'm going to go back to what I said. I addressed it with Odell. I addressed it with our team," Shurmur said. "I publicly declared that I didn't agree with his comments and I asked anybody that was interested if they wanted clarification [to] go to Odell because he's a big man. Now, I'm not going to give the public a pound of flesh on this, all right. That would make me small, not strong. And these are the kind of things, in my opinion, when we have the locker room that we have that will help galvanize them because the locker room took care of it, and that is all I'm saying on it. Finito. Done Let's talk football, not drama."
Shurmur's exactly right.
Beckham's a grown man. If anyone has any thoughts on his remarks, those thoughts should be addressed with him. It's not Shurmur's job to stand in front of the world and actively divide a team that has played some pretty uninspired football.
So what did Beckham have to say?
"I don't regret anything," he told reporters after the game, via ESPN.com's Jordan Raanan. "I don't regret anything that I said. If it took that for us to come together as a team like we did [Sunday]. I can take that every single time. ...
"It's been on my heart," Beckham continued, saying his remarks to ESPN had been building since the Week 2 loss to the Cowboys. "And I think all the stuff that was built up inside, it just kinda -- it came out in the wrong way. And I texted [Shurmur], and I asked if I could have a minute to just talk to the team, because I feel like if we're not all on the same page ... if it's not authentic and real, and we can all understand each other, then there's always gonna be miscommunication," Beckham said after Sunday's loss. "So to be able to do that was big for me. I was nervous to get up there and -- these are your brothers you see every day; but once you're up there in front of all of 'em, it's a little nerve-racking. So I'm just excited about the way we pulled together. Like I said, we came up short; but we fought [Sunday]."
And how did his teammates react?
"It was very receptive," he said. "I'm happy I did because there was a part of me that was a little reluctant or didn't want to because it was a tough position. It was a hard thing to do. It was part of the growth process I'm going through. And if I could do it all again, I would do the same thing. ... I haven't felt any more closer [to my teammates] than I have in the last 24 hours and, like I said, if it took that to bring us together, I can take that. I can carry that."
Perhaps this is what galvanizes the Giants.
But if we are, in Shurmur's words, "talking football," the question remains: What's the plan with Eli? Because, realistically, he's been among the league's worst quarterbacks. Even before Sunday's effort, which included some impressive throws but also featured two terrible interceptions to 37-year-old Mike Adams, Manning ranked 22nd in value per play among all quarterbacks and 24th in total value.
Put another way: Beckham wasn't wrong when he wondered if the Giants had issues at quarterback, he was wrong for saying it with a camera in his face (turns out, sitting next to Lil Wayne wasn't a big enough distraction to obscure what Beckham was saying).
Meanwhile, Manning claimed to be oblivious to it all.
"I haven't heard anything," he said after the loss to the Panthers. "Odell and I have a great relationship. Our mindset will be everybody stay focused on beating Philadelphia."
Ah yes. We'll find out shortly just how close this team is; the Giants host the Eagles on Thursday night.
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