In less than two seasons in the NFL, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has earned the respect and admiration of many supporters, scribes and players.
His spectacular catches, speed and athleticism are seemingly out of this world.
The second-year receiver from LSU has the talent and skillset to succeed in the league and his statistics certainly attest to that.
Beckham Jr. ranks first among all wide receivers in the Super Bowl era with 24 touchdowns, 176 receptions and 2,652 yards through their first 25 games.
As impressive as his first 25 games have been, No. 26 couldn’t have been any uglier.
Sure, Beckham Jr. had six catches for 76 yards with a touchdown in the Giants 38-35 loss to the unbeaten Carolina Panthers, but his on-field incidents throughout with cornerback Josh Norman brought up a lot of question marks about his character.
Beckham Jr. and Norman combined for six penalties while jostling, trash talking and fighting for most of the game. The lowlight occurred when Beckham Jr. sprinted some 10-plus yards, leaped off the ground and targeted an unknowing Norman from behind with his helmet.
“It was ridiculous,” Norman told reporters after the game. “I think it was personal. He was trying to come at me. I didn’t take nothing personal. I just went out and did my job.”
Beckham Jr. may be suspended and fined for his actions, particularly the helmet-to-helmet incident.
Norman, who had some not-so-nice comments following the game, did shed light on one thing — Beckham Jr. might not be who people think he is.
“You know you don’t train like that,” Norman said. “That’s not you. That’s not who you are.
“You’re going to be Michael Jackson and go around and dancing and playing and a lot of other stuff and not be a football player and not train the way you’re supposed to train. It goes to show. I hope I pulled that mask off. I pulled back the face of what that dude really is. You want to play football, play football. Don’t come out here and do all that extra stuff.”
Will this remain a one-and-done incident or will opposing teams’ defensive backs continue to get under Beckham Jr.’s skin knowing he has such a fiery temper?
Does the electrifying Beckham Jr. go about his business until provoked then turn into the Hulk or Mr. Hyde and all hell breaks loose on the field? Do running routes and dancing after touchdowns morph into throwing punches and malice?
That is still to be seen since this is the first sighting of Beckham Jr.’s “evil side” and we won’t know the answer until Week 17 following his one-game suspension for his actions.
Beckham Jr. certainly showed his ugly side Sunday, which leaves many people asking: Will the real Odell Beckham Jr. please stand up?