Giants co-owner John Mara said Friday that he was “very disturbed” and “frankly disappointed” not only in Odell Beckham Jr.’s actions on the field against the Panthers on Dec. 20 but in how the coaching staff handled the situation.
Making his first public comments on the incident — which resulted in three personal-foul penalties and a one-game suspension for Beckham, who was named second-team All-Pro on Friday — Mara told ESPN Radio in New York that it is up to the team to provide the wide receiver with the proper structure and resources to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Latest Giants stories
“The thing about Odell, if you’ve ever been around him, he is so competitive and wants to win so badly,” Mara said. “He goes all out all the time. The problem with him is he gets a little too emotional when he’s on the field. He’s a young kid and he needs to be able to harness that and control that better. And we need to provide him some help in that area and get him to do that
“ . . . I’m not worried about him going forward because he is a good kid and he is so driven and he wants to be the best player in the league. When you have that in a guy, and you have a guy who works as hard as he does, he’s going to be successful. It’s up to us to provide him with whatever help he needs just to keep his emotions in check.
“I was very disturbed at what happened during that game and was frankly disappointed that we didn’t deal with it better on the sideline,” Mara said of Tom Coughlin’s decision to keep Beckham in the game. “I thought to myself: ‘He’s doing exactly what Carolina wants him to do. He’s losing his focus. He’s losing control.’ Sure enough, they basically took him out of the game in the first half . . . I thought we probably should have pulled him from the game, and that was addressed here.”
Mara said it was not something that weighed into the organization’s decision to accept Coughlin’s resignation. “Six-and-10 is 6-and-10,” he said of the real impetus for change. “But I was not happy about it.”
Mara discusses rest of team
Mara spoke on several other topics as well.
On the lack of leadership on the roster with players such as Antrel Rolle, Justin Tuck and Chris Snee departing in recent years, he said: “I think that’s a big need for us going forward. We did see a lot of leadership walk out the door and we need, I think, to bring in some guys who can provide that. I think we have some guys here who have that in them, but they’re younger players, particularly on the offensive [side]. That really is where you want to see it come from is your offensive line and your defensive line, and I think we need to work on that, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. No question.”
On the current search for a head coach, he said he would prefer to make a decision “sooner rather than later, but not at the expense of finding the right guy.”
On Coughlin, he said the team would like to induct him into its Ring of Honor next season . . . provided he is not coaching elsewhere at the time.
And on Jason Pierre-Paul, a free agent this offseason, he said: “He certainly showed us enough to want him back. As I say with regard to all free agents, it just depends on what the price is. He’s going to have some more surgery done on that hand. Hopefully that will allow him to play without that mitt he was wearing because he basically was playing one-handed. Even playing one-handed, he still had an effect. He still would pressure the quarterback, he still would hustle. He plays with a lot of energy. That’s a good thing. We’re going to have to see him do some more before he’s able to get paid like the top free agents in this league, but yes, we would like to have him back. He works hard, he’s a good kid, he wants to be the best. Hopefully this surgery is going to help him a little bit.”