Odell Beckham Jr. knows why he'll have a bull's-eye on his back this season.
"I could rub a lot of people the wrong way if they don't know me," the Giants' second-year wide receiver said Wednesday when talking about defensive backs gunning for him and how some of that attention may be, as he called it, "self-inflicted."
"I'm sure a lot of it was because of me, being who I am, and dancing and having fun," he continued. "Also having success at the same time, I'm sure that if you were going against me you wouldn't want to see that. I wouldn't want a DB breaking up the ball every single play and him dancing all in my face as well. I could understand why things may be the way they are."
"I still have to play with the same passion and come to the field the same way every time," he said. "People are going to talk, you're going to talk, you get caught up in the game, it's heat of the moment, things are going to get said, and after the game, all is forgotten. At the end of the day, you're out there to compete, so there are no hard feelings or bad blood between anybody that you ever play against. It's just kind of one of those things, I want to do better than you, I don't want you to be able to leave the field and say you got the best of me or anything like that. That's where it's at."
Beckham agreed with comments made by teammate Victor Cruz on Tuesday in which the veteran was upset about the way Jaguars defenders seemed more intent on making heavy collisions with Beckham than playing the football.
"At the end of the day it's football," he said. "Guys are out there and you're going to get hit. It's a contact sport for a reason, but you just want to try and avoid any unnecessary contact. I know I do, for sure. But plays that can be made by a defender and [they are] choosing not to make a play on the ball, then it's a different story . . . I'm not so much worried about being targeted.
"I know it may be a little self-inflicted with that, that's what it's going to be like. I'm just going to be a target in other people's eyes, something that I have to look out for, so just protect yourself and know that there are 52 other people that have your back. It makes it less concerning for me to really worry about."
Beckham has spoken this summer about trying to rein in his emotions on the field, and it seemed that last week they got the better of him. After the last pass to him down the left sideline he gave a little shove to Jaguars safety Sergio Brown and the two wound up in each others' face masks.
Beckham pretended to not recall that.
"I didn't see that," he said, "and there was no flag thrown, so no harm, no foul."
There will come a time this season, though, that Beckham will be faced with a choice about reacting to an opponent who is taunting him or targeting him or simply tethered to him. What will he do then?
"It's going to happen all year and how you handle it is up to you," he said. "I've got guys out there counting on me to do my role just the same as I count on everyone else out there, so just making sure we all do our job I think will benefit us all."