How does Eli Manning think Odell Beckham Jr. will respond to all of the attention that is sure to encircle him and Josh Norman in Sunday’s game against Washington?
“I think he’ll do his job well,” the quarterback said. “He’s a good player and he works hard. We have to have a good week of practice. I expect him to go out and make plays for us.”
That’s always the expectation, of course. This week it’s sure to be heightened as the two players face each other for the first time since their confrontations turned ugly in a December game against the Panthers, Norman’s former team. Those confrontations led to a one-game suspension for Beckham and a full offseason of verbal sparring between the two stars.
Now that the game is here, though, Manning said he believes Beckham will be focused on the game and not the drama.
“He wants to keep this about football,” Manning said on Tuesday. “It’s about going out there and doing our jobs. I know he wants to get in the end zone, score and be a big part of this offense. He played well last week and I think he’ll play well again this week.”
There’s no saying how much Beckham and Norman will even face off. For most of the first two games Washington has kept Norman on one side of the field. That meant he did not cover Steelers receiver Antonio Brown much in the opener and it wasn’t until the second half of Sunday’s game that he started following the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant.
Unlike the Steelers and Cowboys, though, the Giants have three solid options at receiver. Whoever Norman covers, Manning said, he’ll still have his hands full.
“We’ll see what their game plan is with him, whether they’re going to move him around or keep him on the right side,” Manning said. “Either way, I feel good about our guys running our routes and being able to win however they want to play them.”