Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Tuesday that he considers Odell Beckham’s frequent emotional outbursts “a distraction” and offered to help the Giants’ third-year receiver better control his temper in hopes of becoming an even better player.
Appearing on the CBS Sports Network show “We Need To Talk,” Coughlin told panelists Dana Jacobson, Andrea Kremer, Lisa Leslie and Summer Sanders, Coughlin also said that Beckham is a team player, but that he lets his emotions get the better of him too often.
“He really believes that he is at his best at the top of his passion,” Coughlin said. “He is so talented. I don’t think there’s anything the kid can’t do. He is a good kid. He is a team guy in the team room. It’s just when he gets on the field, there’s only one way he knows how to play. For his own good [he needs to learn to channel his passion]. And I would love to try to help him in this regard because I think so highly of him . . . [But] he is a distraction. If you watch a game the camera is on him the whole time.”
Coughlin coached Beckham in 2014-15, his final two seasons as the Giants’ coach before stepping down. Under Coughlin, Beckham flourished as a wide receiver. But Beckham’s demeanor had become an issue, particularly toward the end of last season, when he engaged in a personal battle with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman in the next-to-last game of the season. Beckham incurred three personal fouls, the last of which resulted in him launching himself helmet-first at Norman and hitting him in the helmet. Beckham was suspended for the final game of the season, which turned out to be Coughlin’s last game of a 12-year career in New York.
Coughlin also told the panelists that he met last spring with Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula and team president Russ Brandon. He said coach Rex Ryan had initiated the meeting.
“We would talk about the role that I would be as part of their program,” Coughlin said. “It was pretty good when we met and talked. I actually think they wanted me to do a lot of things. Maybe sit next to the owner in the press box, tell him what I thought about what was good and what was bad [on the field]. I came away feeling good about it. So did Rex. Then all of the sudden the questions started to come, and they decided that it was something they couldn’t do. But that was the only meeting we had. And the only time I’ve ever talked to ownership.”
Coughlin remains under contract with the Giants through the end of the season, so any team looking to hire him would have to request permission from the Giants.