It wasn’t a direct Super Bowl guarantee, nor was there a prediction of when the Giants’ next championship might come. But Odell Beckham Jr. has promised there will be another.
After another dazzling practice by the gifted receiver in which he produced yet another startling one-handed catch, Beckham offered an unmistakable assurance that he ultimately will be part of a championship run.
“See that banner? That’s all I care about,” he said after being asked if he is concerned about the possibility of getting fewer catches because of the presence of Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall. “That’s all I care about.”
He looked around the cavernous indoor practice facility and noted the huge championship banners, two of them at each end.
“I don’t know where they’d put the fifth one,’’ he said, “but they’re going to have to make room because we need it.”
He named no time, date or year, just that there will be another Vince Lombardi Trophy for the Giants and that he’ll be a part of it. Even if it means he’ll have to sacrifice some individual statistics now that the Giants have more offensive weapons.
“We’ve got guys, Brandon coming in, Shep, we’re trying to win games,” he said. “It’s just about being the best.”
Beckham has been in the news plenty during his first three seasons, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones. His remarkable one-handed catch against Dallas as a rookie turned him into a sensation overnight, and there have been more catches — and more controversy — ever since. He is a social media magnet, a Twitter and Instagram click machine with his play, his comments, his pictures and sometimes with his silence.
The contentious final week of last season began with a picture of him and other receivers posing shirtless on a boat in South Beach and ended with a 38-13 wild-card rout by the Packers. But after a reflective offseason, he insists his mind is right.
“Personally, the way I feel mentally, physically, spiritually right now, I’m just in a better place,” he said. “Things are flowing. Just keep continuing to push them in the right direction.”
Beckham thinks his anguish over his awful playoff performance will wind up helping him and his teammates. He brought plenty of heat on himself by whisking off to Miami after the regular-season finale and then showing up on social media. He could have mollified his critics with a signature performance against the Packers, but he embarrassed himself instead. From coming out shirtless during warmups in frigid Green Bay, to having only four catches for 28 yards, to dropping a ball in the end zone, to leaving a hole in the locker-room wall, it was humiliating.
But after an offseason in which his absence from voluntary practices prompted questions about whether he was unhappy with his contract, Beckham has returned with renewed purpose. When asked how much the loss to the Packers has fueled his drive to win a championship, he said, “You have no idea.”
He takes you back to what could have been a transformative event but turned into a nightmare.
“I really thought about it and I’m thinking about it,” he said. “Even growing up, the Giants — historical team. The Packers — historical team. Lambeau Field, ice cold, perfect conditions, everything that you can dream of.”
“Wasn’t able to capture the moment,” he said. “And did it in a horrible way and a way that I woke up out of my sleep to. But I used that pain, and I turn it into positive energy. I posted it on Instagram the other day, I said, ‘If you can’t see it, you’re going to feel it.’ And that’s just how I feel. If you can’t see where I’m at, then I’ll make sure that you do.”
Nothing less than a championship can undo the disappointment. He believes that time will come, and that a decision will have to be made about where to put that fifth Super Bowl banner.