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Odell Beckham Jr.: Tom Coughlin taught me how to be a man

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. speaks with reporters before cleaning out his locker at the team's practice facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. Photo Credit: Errol Anderson

Odell Beckham Jr. admits that his first impressions of coach Tom Coughlin weren’t all that warm and fuzzy.

As a rookie last season, he wondered why his coach — who is three times his age — kept focusing on him in practice. But Beckham said he soon realized that it was Coughlin’s way of motivating him, and the wide receiver said he eventually came to appreciate the extra attention from his first NFL coach.

So hours before Coughlin resigned, Beckham delivered the highest of praise as the 2015 Giants met for the last time Monday morning.

“I love coach Coughlin,” Beckham said. “He’s always going to be my coach.”

Before Beckham left the locker room for the final time this season, he said he did not know what was going to happen with Coughlin. But he was grateful for the role the coach played in helping Beckham become the league’s most dynamic receiver.

“He knew what was in you, he wanted to bring the best out,” Beckham said. “And he was going to do everything that he could to do that. Along the journey, it’s been great with Coach as far as growing and learning each other and teaching me things, just how to be a man.”

Coughlin’s replacement could install a new offensive system, replacing the one that Beckham has thrived in as a pro. Learning the design of a new system is not something Beckham is too jazzed about.

“It would be difficult,” he said. “It’s something that you’re used to — you come in here every day, it’s the same people. It would take time to readjust.”

As far as the Giants’ current offensive system, Beckham said he did so well in it because “toward the end of the year, we kind of just did a good job of moving around and being able to get some positions where they couldn’t scheme as much as they would want to.”

Beckham finished his sophomore season with 13 touchdowns and 96 receptions for 1,450 yards. That gives him 2,755 career receiving yards, the most after two years by any player in NFL history.

Beckham broke Randy Moss’ mark of 2,726. But Moss accomplished that in 32 games; Beckham has played only 27.

“To be in company with Randy Moss, I can’t ask for much more,” Beckham said. “He’s a guy that I looked up to all my life . . . probably have all his jerseys. To be able to do some of the things that I’ve done the past two years with this team, it’s been very special.”

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