BY KEVIN CONNELL
Former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith offered some clear and concise advice to Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. during a television appearance Tuesday.
Speaking on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed,” Smith said Beckham needs to “make more mature and professional decisions” moving forward in his career.
“You have to think less about your brand … and more about the company,” Smith said. “The company which pays you and gives you that opportunity to do all the things that you get to do. You cannot allow your extracurricular activities to supersede and become more important than your current job — the W2, that allows you to get K1s and 1099s. You have to make sure you take care of that first.”
Beckham, along with fellow Giants receivers Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis, all traveled to Miami on their day off a day after beating the Redskins 19-10 in their regular-season finale on Jan. 1.
Last Sunday, one week after the game, the Giants then went on to lose 38-13 on the road against the Packers in the NFC Wild Card round.
Statistically, Beckham and the other receivers on the trip did not have their best games. Beckham had just four catches for 28 yards, which included some drops.
Giants on "the boat":
112 receiving yards on 19 targets
Giants not on "the boat":
114 receiving yards, 1 TD on 8 targets@TreySongz— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 8, 2017
“So like what I tell my son, 19 years old in college, he plays sports,” Smith said. “I tell him, ‘Academics first, athletics second.’ Academics means you’ve got to think, which his dad didn’t always do, so I’m speaking from experience. So he’s going to have some growing pains, but I don’t think growing pains, I don’t thinking growing up is the thing.
“He has to mature, he has to understand what he has to do and how the spotlight is on him. We’re in a day and age now where social media and attention, TMZ, all these things are putting us in the forefront and make us think and feel and act. Like we are more important. ‘The league cannot do anything without me.’”
Smith, 37, who officially retired from the NFL after 16 seasons last Friday, was known for his brash style of play throughout his career.
“The league has and will continue to be existing beyond you and after you and before you,” Smith said. “There was a number, there was somebody – I don’t know who – somebody was in (No.) 13 before you. And you know what? Unless you calm down what you’re doing and continue to play well, you have the possibility of making sure no one will wear that number after you.”