Odell Beckham doesn’t commit to presence at OTAs
One of the most important questions for new Ravens receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t asked on Thursday. He answered it anyway, sort of.
Asked when he’ll be back on the field after an ACL repair from early 2022, Beckham responded with an explanation that slipped into the question of participation in offseason workouts generally.
“That’s be a discussion with the training room, coaches, everybody,” Beckham said initially. “I’ve been in the situation before where this is made more important by this side of the room [the media] than your teammates.”
That’s when he did a compare-and-contrast between involvement in the offseason program and not playing well during the season and non-involvement in the offseason program and playing well during the season.
“If you’re at OTAs and you were a great guy and you get out onto the field during the season and you don’t perform, I don’t think your teammates are gonna be like, ‘Well, he was at OTAs and he was, you know, he was there,’” Beckham said. “It’s more about that guy that’s gonna come show up for you on Sundays and be able to produce.”
The guy who doesn’t show up for OTAs but still produces on Sundays could produce even more, in theory, if he’d been better prepared. Beckham’s next comments sort of acknowledged that.
“But there’s also being in a new group and being able to bond with those guys,” Beckham said. “I get the balance. So it’s something that we’ll all sit down and figure out, but I always deep down inside thought it was made more of a thing over that way than it really is with the guys that you share blood, sweat, and tears with and you’re with more hours than your family.”
It will be interesting to see whether the Ravens expect him to be there for the offseason, given that G.M. Eric DeCosta told reporters on Thursday that the team believes Beckham is “100 percent invested in our program.”
If that’s the case, he’ll be there.
The better question -- which definitely wasn’t asked -- is whether Beckham will be in the building every day, either rehabbing or practicing but always around, for meetings or whatever else is happening. That’s really the true test for whether he’s 100-percent invested -- is he 100-percent present?
For now, we don’t know whether he will be. But the more he’s there, the more likely it is that he’ll help attract quarterback Lamar Jackson to be there, too.