Pat Shurmur’s first impression of Odell Beckham Jr. on the practice field Thursday had nothing to do with his catches or his routes or how his ankle handled the workout. What stood out most to Shurmur was Beckham’s Beckham-ness.
The dancing between plays, the constant talking with teammates, and the electricity Beckham brought to the turf on the first two days of training camp impressed Shurmur.
“You see he’s very energetic on the practice field,” Shurmur said on Friday. “He’s fun to be around in practice. Everybody knows him better than I do, but it’s very obvious to me the guy loves to play football. When you’re in a practice setting like that you see that.”
Even those who do know Beckham well and have been with him for years were happy to see that side of him once again. There have been so many dark clouds in the skies around Beckham, from his contract status and his return from injury, that it was good to see some sunshine.
“He loves the game and he shows that,” safety Landon Collins said. “He’s not just saying ‘I’m going to sit out and not come play football because I want a new contract.’ He’s here because he wants to play football, he’s out here with his guys, and he loves what he does.”
Shurmur said he isn’t surprised by that outlook.
“I think the true stars that I’ve been around embrace the work,” he said. “I think that’s what you see from Odell.”