The Odell Beckham Jr. Circus has come to town
The New York Giants begin their three-day mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday. That means it is time for the Odell Beckham Jr. circus. After missing, or skipping, voluntary OTAs, Beckham is expected to take part in the work the next three days.
Pretty much every move he makes, or doesn’t make, will be a story. So will every word he says, or doesn’t say. Let’s use today’s “Five Things I Think I Think” forum to preview the mini-camp. Some of this is about Beckham, but there are other things to look at so much of it is not.
What will Odell Say? If He Talks At All
Odell Beckham Jr. is in New Jersey. He took his physical on Monday. All of that means we can expect to see him on the field for practice on Tuesday. That much we know.
Will Beckham talk to the Media on Tuesday? Will the Giants make the anxious, overwhelming media throng wait until Wednesday? Or, will Beckham choose not to talk at all? That, you can bet, would set off a whole new round of Beckham-blasting from some in the media.
If he does talk, what will he say? You can bet he will be asked about his contract, and whether skipping OTAs had anything to do with that. You can bet he will be asked his social media presence, where he appears to have taken at least one shot at head coach Ben McAdoo during the offseason. You can bet he’ll be asked about his sub-par effort in the playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, since he hasn’t talked to media since prior to that game. You can bet he will be asked about GM Jerry Reese’s comments that he needs to grow up.
I think I know that he will look bored and uncomfortable during the whole production. I also think I know that media members hungry for Beckham quotes — yours truly included — will est up and write about nearly every word.
What’s Up With Owa?
Mystery surrounds the status of third-year defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa. He sent out a mysterious tweet a few months back that he needed to step away from football. Then, he showed up in East Rutherford during early phases of the offseason program. He did not, however, show up for any of the on-field OTAs.
Defensive line coach Patrick Graham and McAdoo have both refused to talk about Odighizuwa. I think it would be nice to eventually get some clarity on the young man’s situation. I know I hope that he, and his loved ones, are OK.
There was this update Tuesday morning from ESPN.
Owa Odighizuwa not expected at mandatory minicamp as he continues to handle some personal issues, per sources. He also missed OTAs.— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) June 13, 2017
Will Young Guys Continue To Shine?
I think that young players trying to fight their way onto the roster are always a big part of the story at this time of the year. Among the non-rookies who have been impressive thus far are tight end Matt LaCosse, cornerbacks Michael Hunter (profile) and Donte Deayon (profile), and placekicker Aldrick Rosas.
Can those guys continue their impressive spring work? Will any other young players step to the forefront?
What Will We Learn About Injured Players?
I think that at this time of year it can be difficult to tell when players have real injuries that should cause concern, or just minor issues that mean going too hard this far before the season probably isn’t a smart thing to do. Especially when McAdoo has taken to giving hockey-style injury updates. Shoot, McAdoo’s “so-and-so is sore” and “we’re being smart with him” injury updates are worse than the ones hockey teams provide. At least they tell you upper body or lower body. The Giants’ coach doesn’t even give you that much.
That said, there are a couple of noteworthy injured guys to mention.
Tight end Rhett Ellison missed on-field work in OTAs with a calf injury. He did participate in a few snaps on Friday during a walk-thru portion of practice, but that is the only work we have seen him do. Calf injuries are tricky and memories of lost seasons by Victor Cruz and Nat Berhe are fresh, so that’s the injury I’m most concerned about.
Cornerback Eli Apple missed a few workouts with a hamstring issue. No word on whether he will practice this week. Linebacker J.T. Thomas, rehabbing from knee surgery, has only worked on the side and done some light jogging. Quarterback Geno Smith has said he is completely healthy after knee surgery, but for the most part the Giants have kept him out of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work.
Those Pesky Offensive Line Questions
I think we won’t learn much more about the offensive line than we already know. We know Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart worked out in New Jersey during the offseason, and that Flowers particularly appears to be in outstanding shape. I think we also know Flowers won’t talk to the media unless someone forces him to.
We know the alignment we will see, and that at some point we might see D.J. Fluker get a few “just in case” reps at right tackle.
Aside from who lines up where we aren’t going to learn much of anything more about the offensive line. The Giants still won’t be in pads, so there will be some hand-fighting in the trenches, but nothing of real significance that will tell us who has improved and who hasn’t.