The word was “dynamic.’’
Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams scoffed last week when someone said Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the most dynamic players in the league.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, when asked about the one-handed catch Beckham made against the Jets on Monday night, cracked that it was “pretty dynamic.”
Said Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, “He’s so dynamic. He can really do it all.”
And Beckham himself? The guy with the larger-than-life personality and the penchant for making headlines?
He said none of that.
After his Browns beat the Jets, 23-3, at MetLife Stadium, the Beckham who addressed the media was one who said he wants to be better. A better player, a better teammate and a better person.
He was asked about Williams — the man who he believes intentionally directed his then-Browns defense to injure Beckham in a preseason game when the wide receiver was with the Giants. And Beckham, for a moment, couldn’t help himself.
“Who?” he joked, mimicking Williams’ news conference last week (when asked about Beckham’s accusations, Williams had exclaimed, “Odell who?”).
But unlike Williams, Beckham immediately demurred. “Everybody has the right to their own opinion,” he said. “He’s a phenomenal coach, he’s got a great defense, but I’m done talking about it. We won, so I just try to make plays.”
Oh, did he ever.
As so often has been the case, the pregame chaos surrounding Beckham threatened to overshadow his actual talent. And, as so often has been the case, his play put that on the back burner.
He made a beauty of a catch up the right sideline while being blanketed by the Jets’ Nate Hairston, echoing his famous Giants touchdown catch. It was, of course, one-handed — the type of catch that makes him look like Spiderman — and it went for 33 yards and set up a field goal.
Then, late in the third quarter, Mayfield hit him with a short pass and he streaked unmolested for an 89-yard touchdown, the longest reception of his career. He had six catches for 161 yards.
“It really was” like the catch he made as a rookie, even in the same place, he said. “I saw the ball go up and I swear it’s like — I have like this déjà vu that happens to me all the time in life . . . I see the ball go up and I’m like, am I a rookie again? . . . You forget how dark it is and how hard it is to track the ball in this stadium.”
It was a less ostentatious Beckham who visited East Rutherford. Much was made of the $200,000 watch he wore in last week’s game. Before Monday night’s game, he was wearing an even more expensive watch, which Darren Rovell said cost $2 million. But he took it off before the game, and afterward, he said he is over it.
He seemed frustrated by another distraction: On third and goal in the first quarter, he was flagged for an illegal visor (the league allows only lightly tinted visors). Beckham’s was possibly too reflective, though he said he couldn’t be sure. The Browns wound up settling for a field goal.
“I feel like I’ve grown a lot,” he said. “I just try to do better and be better and it’s always something . . . It’s just always something with me. They pulled me off on third and goal and that just hurts the team . . . All I want is for it to be equal across the league [and] don’t single anybody out.”
He harbors no ill will toward the Giants, he said, though they traded him in a move that shocked the NFL. “No animosity, no hate,” he said. “I’m full of love. I wish everybody over there nothing but the best. I have brothers over there.”
Dynamism is defined as constant change and progress, so in that respect, at least, Beckham proved Williams wrong.