CINCINNATI -- Odell Beckham Jr. may smile a lot in front of the cameras, but he's trying to get rid of his Angry Young Man persona on the field.
"My passion for the game gets in the way sometimes," he said when asked on Thursday about any weaknesses he feels he has going into his second season. "That anger, and all those things come into play, and it doesn't always work in my favor in my own way."
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It's something Beckham and the Giants have been focusing on since last season ended. There were a few too many instances of him pulling his own helmet off on the field, putting himself in precarious situations against opponents, and even being in the middle of a brawl with the Rams.
Everyone knows Beckham is the hottest player in the NFL. All you have to do is look at virtually every fantasy football magazine cover. But he also has a reputation for being a hot-headed player.
"It's a lot of work," he said of reigning in his emotions. "Just talking to yourself, whatever it is you need to do at the moment. There's always that boiling point that you get to, and it's like, what do you do when you get there? Do you react a certain way? Or do you do this? Finding your true self, not finding what's right to do, but finding your true self in whatever way works best for you, is really what I'm working on."
He had a chance to practice that Zen this week against the Bengals.
"It gets to that point when you're in camp," he said. "You just get into this groove, and you get frustrated as a player, as a human being. We all have frustrations and things like that. Finding ways to not let it get to you is really what I'm working on. Yeah, it gets there every now and then, but I've done a good job at controlling it and not letting it control me."
There is a fine line between those two states. Beckham uses the fire to drive him and make him the player he is. He just needs to learn to tame it better so it doesn't burn down the house.
"It comes out and it brings out the best in me," he said of his emotions. "Finding a way to channel that anger, and that passion, it's really what I'm working on."