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Odell Beckham needs to stay focused and eliminate ‘social pressure,’ Les Miles says

LSU head coach Les Miles talks to wide

LSU head coach Les Miles talks to wide receiver Odell Beckham in the first half of an NCAA football game against Texas A&M in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Credit: AP / Gerald Herbert

Les Miles has a word of advice for Odell Beckham Jr.:


The former LSU head coach chimed in about his former star wide receiver on Tuesday morning on ESPN Radio, two days after Beckham’s Giants season ended with a 38-13 loss to the Packers in the wild-card round.

“If he eliminates, especially for certain times, the social pressure -- if you just focus on the job that you have to do and the route you have to run, even though it seems to be a, ‘Hey I can do that, I know how to do that,’ no, don’t take it for granted, because it’s so important,” Miles said during an appearance on Mike & Mike. “It is like Tony Dungy would say, ‘We do the little things best,’ and that’s what Odell Beckham’s got to do when he comes to the game.”

Beckham had four catches for 28 yards and dropped three more passes – one of them in the end zone – in the loss. After the game, he reportedly punched a hole in a wall at Lambeau Field. The bad game capped a week in which Beckham and three other Giants faced immense scrutiny after being photographed on a boat in Miami on the team’s day off.

Miles, who coached Beckham at LSU from 2011-13, said he didn’t know the specifics of what happened on that boat trip, but added that “if you go on a nice quiet boat ride, and you get your butt back to New York and you’re there early and you’re ready to go, that’s different.”

Miles said he had no issues with Beckham when the two were in Baton Rouge. “He was a joy,” Miles said. “He came to practice, he worked hard. There was never a time that we didn’t ask him to do something that he didn’t give us a best effort.”

However, Miles did note the pressure of the NFL can sometimes get to players.

“At times guys get to the NFL and they ask the question, ‘What does the NFL want from me? What does my fanbase want from me? And what does my team want from me?’” he said. “And I think that they sometimes can get confused.”

Miles hopes Beckham has been seeking advice from people who would know how to deal with both pressure and emotion.

“He should have a number of mentors,” Miles said. “His father’s an ex-player [at LSU], his mother’s a great track athlete and a coach. So there should be plenty of people around him that say, ‘Hey listen, this is how we need to handle in-season, certainly big games.’ And I think Odell Beckham listens and does what he needs to do for his team. And I don’t know that he didn’t or did, but I think somebody needs to put that to him if in fact that’s an issue.”


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