Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan has opted for clunky reverse psychology to protect receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from further efforts to get under his skin by opposing defensive backs. As it relates to the Eagles, Sullivan need not worry about the defensive backs targeting Beckham.
“If you’re more worried about trying to get a player ejected then you’re not focused on your job,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said on Friday’s PFT Live. “I think that’s something that [defensive coordinator] Jim Schwartz has brought to these guys and the defensive staff is just, ‘Do your job.’ You saw it against the Pittsburgh Steelers . . . . I don’t think you go into a game and say, ‘We’ve got to poke and pester this player.’ I just don’t think you do that. If you do that then I think that’s when you get beat and that’s when somebody like an Odell Beckham with the talent that he has can beat you. There’s ten other guys on that team that can beat you. Again, it is a fine line but that’s got to be my message to the football team.”
Apart from not trying to make Beckham snap, the focus on his recent inability to avoid snapping gives coaches like Pederson ammunition for explaining to players the importance of remaining poised.
“It goes back to the messaging to the football team from myself and just keep reiterating points of emphasis that way and cooler heads prevail,” Pederson said. “Listen I get it; I’ve been a player. I understand the dynamic of the heat of the battle and all of that. I mean, we’re in this business for that reason. We love the competition and at the same time you just have to remain calm. It is a hard thing, it is a tough thing. You can’t let it affect you and I continue to talk to our team about that stuff each and every week. I always mention to the guys, ‘Let your personality show. Go out and have fun. Play with one another, play with the passion of the football team and the passion of the game but at the same time you have to maintain that control.’ It is a fine line. It’s tough. I get it. But it’s the constant messaging that I can provide to the team that helps.”
The 3-0 Eagles face the Giants and Beckham on November 6 and again on Thursday, December 22.