Odell Beckham’s frustration will make it even harder for the Browns to win games

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The Odell Beckham experiment in Cleveland hasn’t gone as well as expected. And he’s getting frustrated.

That characterization didn’t come from Beckham on Wednesday but from quarterback Baker Mayfield, who addressed Beckham’s lack of offensive production with reporters on Wednesday.

“He is frustrated when he is not getting the ball and we are losing,” Mayfield said. “Why not be? He feels like he could help us win if we get the ball in his hands. When we are winning, that is the thing about it is he is a team guy. He is helping us win in any way he can, and he understands how teams are going to play him. It is frustrating when he is not getting the ball and we are losing. You can’t blame him. He is one of the best receivers in the league, and when he is not getting the ball, he always has it in the back of his mind of, ‘What if I did get the ball and changed this game?'”

The football-watching world got a glimpse of that mindset on Monday, with a Benny Hill-style punt return from Beckham, who was trying to singlehandedly turn the game around at a time when the cause was lost. He backtracked and eventually fumbled.

Beckham had only two catches against the Ravens in Week Four, which created no problems because Cleveland emerged with the victory. On Monday night, two receptions coupled with a loss has made Beckham’s lack of involvement an issue.

Beckham isn’t the only one frustrated by his lack of involvement. Mayfield is frustrated by the extent to which opposing defenses are taking him out of games.

“It is frustrating when teams take him out of the game,” Mayfield said, “but it is also an opportunity for other guys to make plays. We have to do our job of getting him the ball as many times as we can. He is a game changer. That is why he is here. He is one of the best in the league. We will do our part, and we expect him to do his as well.”

That’s fine, but it’s still not working. Although the Browns are drawing up plays aimed at getting Beckham involved, it feels too forced and contrived, not part of the natural flow of the game. And as defenses focus on taking him away, the Browns are getting even more frustrated.

“I think it is about seeing how teams are going to play, and if there are one on ones, we have to be able to take advantage of it,” Mayfield said. “If not, he has to be patient and we do too of not forcing the ball to him and taking advantage of defenses and making them adapt before we can get the ball to him.”

A passing game works best when the quarterback focuses only on throwing the ball to the open man. And if a defense insists on taking one specific player away, the offense needs to pivot to others who will enjoy mismatches. But Beckham still wants the ball, and his desire to get the ball creates stress and pressure for the coaches and for Mayfield, potentially forcing him to spend too much time hoping Beckham springs open before moving on to the next man in the progression, because Mayfield knows that, if Beckham doesn’t get the ball, he’ll become frustrated.

That’s the price of having a great receiver. He knows he’s a great receiver, and he wants to continuously prove his greatness. He won’t concede that maybe he’s not so great that he can beat double teams, that he’s not open when he thinks he is, that pursuing victory isn’t about how many passes he catches.

So while it sounded great back in March to add Beckham to the Browns roster, the Browns are now working through the challenge that comes from having Beckham on the Browns roster — and his frustration will serve only as an invitation for teams to continue to do whatever they have to do to shut him down, since they know that his frustration and the efforts to alleviate it will make it easier to shut the entire offense down, too.

39 responses to “Odell Beckham’s frustration will make it even harder for the Browns to win games

  1. I’m sorry, but odel beckham is overrated. Hrs not that good. He’s made some great catches in his career buy that’s about it. He’s not consistently getting open every game. He’s not a game changer. He’s nothing but a diva and an average wr, nothing more, nothing less. Great wr’s beat double teams and get open all game. He’s not a great route runner. He’s got speed, that’s about it. great wrs like Jerry rice, terrell owens, Michael Irvin, julio jones had/have no problems beating double teams. You’ll get stopped a few times, but most of the time, great wr’s can’t be stopped, they’ll always get open and get their catches and a td or more. Odel beckham is an overrated bum. He’ll start acting like Antonio brown pretty soon if he continues getting locked down every game. Then it will be a circus in Cleveland. The questions will start getting asked, who’s the bigger bust, odel beckham or Mayfield?

  2. Totally not a Browns or Mayfield fan.
    The harder they try to force the ball to OBJ, the worse it’ll get. LY, Mayfield was spreading the ball around. This year the focus on keeping one guy happy is wrecking that offense. When you add that the OL has been spotty, no wonder Baker’s not looking so good.

  3. I hope OBJ is happy after his next game, because that means the Dawgs have pounded the Sea Dorks

  4. He hasn’t made any noise about it, until he does it isn’t an issue. Hopefully there won’t be a Lil Wayne interview 2.0

  5. I was pissed my team traded for him and brought in the hype. We didnt need it, last thing baker needs to be thinking about every drop back is, where is Odell. Clearly he isnt as good as he claims , he isnt beating double teams. Also the dude hasn’t been a complainer or a dive, but what separates him from the true #1s like julio amd thomas amd Hopkins is the fact that Odell fear conract. People say he is the best slant reciever. Best short slant reciever maybe but he doesnt want to go over the middle and take hits. He wants to get his yards and spectacular catches. Drops basic throws though. Gives me braylon Edward’s flashbacks. Makes the hard catch look easy amd easy catch look hard. He isnt going to make that tough drove sustaining catch though. He just isnt a guy who makes your team a winner. Everyone is worried when his freakout will be. Last think we need is not spreading the ball around because we have to check amd see if Odell got open.

  6. Trade Odell and get back to pounding the rock. Anyone who watches the browns offense can tell they’re trying to force feed Odell and pass way too much with a shaky pass protecting line. Chubb is an elite runner and will set up the pass game if they actually stick to the ground and pound. The passing game also needs to go back to quick passes instead of these long developing routes. Baker will have a short career if Todd Monken isn’t removed sooner rather than later.

  7. Trade Odell and get back to pounding the rock. Anyone who watches the browns offense can tell they’re trying to force feed Odell and pass way too much with a shaky pass protecting line. Chubb is an elite runner and will set up the pass game if they actually stick to the ground and pound. The passing game also needs to go back to quick passes instead of these long developing routes. Baker will have a short career if Todd Monken isn’t removed sooner rather than later.

  8. “So while it sounded great back in March to add Beckham to the Browns roster”

    Actually, there were a few of us to whom it did not sound so great. And we said so at the time.

  9. This is pretty much how every person in America Knew it was gonna go down.
    To quote Mickey Knox, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”

  10. All fair points but it still reads like the sky is falling. They are 2-3, not 0-5, and but for some poor play calling could very easily be 3-2 and not even part of the what next conversation. The coaching is new, players are new, Baker is still technically a rook.

    The sky isn’t falling. They have plenty of time to figure it out.

  11. I mean who is really surprised by this? Rational people called this from the very beginning. The Browns were the most hyped team coming into the season, they haven’t done squat except get wet the bed. It’s only going to get worse. Kitchens is way in over his head, the QB has an extreme case of foot and mouth disease, throw in a diva WR and here we are.

  12. OBJ will have a good day against the Legion of Bust. Blabbermouth Mayfield will have more time throwing the ball than he did against Frisco’s New Gold Rush, because the Sea Dork pass rush is still a work in progress according to Petey.

  13. This is very much a chicken and the egg argument, are the Brown’s losing because Beckham isn’t getting the ball or are the losing because he wants the ball and Mayfield is holding onto it to long and not exploiting defenses.

    My opinion is still that Mayfield is a single read QB right now, as he was in college. The difference is that WRs don’t run open as easily in the NFL as in college and the throwing window is much tighter. Mayfield can’t make those tight window throws, and when he then improvises by scrabbling out of the pocket, again defenses are fast in the NFL than in college. So where he would be able to scramble-reset-find a wind open WR due to coverage breaking down by the scramble, he now scrambles but the pursuit is to fast to reset and find a broken down route that is now open.

    Unless Mayfield can start to truly progress through his options, 1-2-3-4, get rid of the ball, possibly take the hit straight on to complete the pass and do all of it in less than four seconds – like every other successful NFL QB, he will never be a quality NFL QB.

  14. “He is not getting the ball and we are losing”. This sounds familiar. I am so glad that the Pats did not bite on this one and hope that they continue to resist. He is a freakish talent that makes his TEAM worse. Maybe the Raiders want to give him a try?

  15. At some point the Browns’ owner is going to realize he hired the wrong G.M. Once he realizes he made a mistake, history shows that he doesn’t take too long to make a change. This isn’t Beckham’s fault. We’ve all been watching this guy for years, and he makes his team worse. And I’m not even talking about off-field issues. I’m talking about dropped passes and fumbles. He did the same thing when the Giants were in the championship game. He can’t focus on football. This is nothing new.

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