Thank the sweet baby Jesus! Forget the Jadeveon Clowney signing! Forget the 2021 draft class! Forget the return of Grant & Greedy! The Browns have done something far more momentous: they have reined-in Odell Beckham, Jr.!
OBJ, who is notorious for lacking chemistry with Baker Mayfield, has been taken to the woodshed by Browns receivers coach, Chad O’Shea, who was recently a guest on an official Browns podcast. When asked by a happy-talking corporate shill just how giddy he was to have OBJ back from injury, O’Shea said, in a stern tone:
“I think the one thing that’s been great for him to see is we’ve gone through a lot of the film this off-season already with Odell and showed him the things that he can be a part of offensively for us and be a productive player, and be a big part of our offense that we now have evidence of on film that we didn’t have last year…hey, this is where you’re going to be, this is how you’re going to run the route, and this is how you’re going to win the route. That’s been something that’s been very good for him, spending time the last several weeks, to be able to go through that process and to envision himself in how he can be a big part of this offense.”
Sounds to me like OBJ has been assigned a very specific role, don’t you agree? No more “creative” route-running, no more using his superstar-powered charisma to tilt the field in his favor. From here on out, OBJ will be required to play to a professional standard. And to accept being told “how you’re going to run the route.”
At least that’s the plan. But will O’Shea be able to enforce it when the season begins? Imagine OBJ defiantly running his own route, catching a ball from Baker, and running it in for a touchdown. Will O’Shea reprimand him? Will he bench him? Or will OBJ just go back to doing how he pleases?
We will see. But if O’Shea can pull this off, the Browns will win the Super Bowl, and O’Shea should win the Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
Keep in mind that the metric is not how well OBJ does. It’s how well Baker does. The whole reason why you want OBJ restricted to a well-defined role is so that he doesn’t distract Baker. Of course, Baker needs to do his part too. He needs to read the defense, and go through his progressions regardless of how insistent OBJ is that he get the ball.
Ideally, this problem would be solved by trading OBJ. But if your knucklehead owner insists on inflicting OBJ on the Browns, then this is the best you can hope for.
Godspeed, Mr. O’Shea, godspeed.
Note: O’Shea made his comments at the 34:15 mark of this podcast: 2021 Browns Schedule Analysis & WRs Coach Chad O’Shea | Best Podcast Available. (That’s episode 14, which was released on May 13, 2021.)
Note: Maybe this is why OBJ shut down his Instagram. There’s no way in hell he wouldn’t bristle at being micromanaged like this. Maybe the shutdown is just his way of showing displeasure for not being treated like God’s gift to football. A little passive/aggressive ploy to deprive fans, and maybe even the team, of his rehab videos. Fine with me. As far as I’m concerned, Rashard Higgins was the better receiver in 2020 anyway.