Beckham Excited For 2021 Browns Season
Odell Beckham Jr. is ecstatic to start his third season with the Cleveland Browns in 2021. The former Louisiana State Tiger, who was acquired from the Giants in the 2019 offseason via trade, believes that some big things could happen on the shores of Lake Erie if the team gels the right way.
Beckham will be returning to the squad after tearing his right ACL in a week seven matchup last year in Cincinnati against the Bengals. While he was hurt, he reflected, and he knows that the team could provide some major sparks in the AFC North.
“I feel like we have a special opportunity. I was down in Austin with Bake (Baker Mayfield) and seeing him a few times since then, just kicking it, hanging out. It’s just something that feels special about this team,” he said. “As I said when I first got here, I wanted it to be like the Patriots. You want to win Super Bowls. I watched [my teammates] compete last year, and the one game that hurt me the most is watching Kansas City and feeling like, man, I know I could have made that one play, just something to help the team.”
After a down 2019 season with Freddie Kitchens at the helm, the Browns pulled together a solid 11-5 record in 2020 under Kevin Stefanski and notched their first playoff win in 26 years. Looking forward to this year, expectations for the team and Beckham are basically championship or bust.
Injury Sharpens His Focus
Being away from the team due to injury will serve as extra motivation for Beckham this year. And he thinks that now is as good a time as ever for the Browns to do some serious damage.
“I think that there’s something special going on,” he said. “There’s something special with this city. Watching the Bucs win a championship inspires you even more. Cleveland needs a championship, and I think that’s the goal, that’s the mentality in the building and that’s what I want to be a part of.”
That championship mentality and hunger will push Beckham and the Browns for big goals in 2021.
The former LSU standout wide receiver, however, has dealt with injuries before in his career. He did originally plan to return early when he played for the Giants, but a torn ACL changed his perspective on his health.
“For me, this one felt different,” Beckham said. “I’ve been through injuries before. I’ve shattered my ankle, had hernia surgery, so it wasn’t the first time I had surgery. And I felt like the third time’s the charm and this one kind of balanced me out, but more so for my mental side, me being able to reflect on decisions, myself, life, whatever it is, and make adjustments within myself. And there’s just been so much growth. I’m just in a different place, just very, very excited to be back.”
With as severe an injury that Beckham sustained, the way he has progressed and rehabbed has become quite an impressive feat.
Ready to Breakout
As he prepares to enter his third season in orange and brown, he has vowed to become more of a team player.
“What I used to get caught up in —– which led me down a path I won’t go to again —– is you get hurt and we’re all men and we want to show everyone we’re a man and we want to come back,” Beckham said. “It (becomes) all this ego challenge. I’m not really in it for all that anymore because I don’t feel like I really have anything to prove except to myself and me wanting to be the best.”
Lofty expectations are in store for the Cleveland Browns 75th anniversary season in 2021, and if Odell Beckham Jr. can stay healthy and the team gels the right way, a Lombardi Trophy could very well make its first trip to the shores of Lake Erie.