When the Giants prepare for an opponent, trying to pinpoint weaknesses, they don’t only look at his speed and strength and technique. They sometimes look at his mental fortitude, how he handles different stresses.
“Everything factors in,” coach Ben McAdoo said of the process.
So it’s not absurd to think that other teams are doing the same thing to the Giants, and in particular Odell Beckham Jr. Very few cornerbacks in the NFL can handle him as a pure receiver, but there are clearly ways to throw him off his game. Xavier Rhodes of the Vikings proved that the other night for the Vikings.
Moving forward, will other teams see getting into Beckham’s head as their best chance of keeping him out of the end zone? Will they be able to goad him into penalties and tantrums?
“Like it’s hockey? Possibly,” McAdoo said on Wednesday of the potential for goons to eliminate Beckham from the game plan — or even the game.
“I’m sure that teams aren’t really thrilled about him having the ball in his hands,” McAdoo said. “He can do something with it. They’re going to do whatever they can do to keep him from having the ball in his hands. If they feel that that’s a good strategy, then you may see it.”
McAdoo said he hasn’t seen teams do it so far to Beckham, but knows it happens to others.
“There are a lot of things that happen in the white lines,” McAdoo said. “In piles. The game within the game. We’ll leave it out there.”
Clearly someone is concerned about it. ESPN reported that the NFL has instructed officials to be on the lookout for players baiting Beckham. McAdoo said he’s not worried about it.
“We need to control what we can control,” he said. “Let everyone else worry about themselves.”