Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Beckham Focused on Getting Better

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Beckham Focused on Getting Better

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD - The Giants are counting on receiving more production from nearly everywhere on the roster in order to bolster their chances at winning the NFC East.

Might seem like a lot to ask, but that also includes getting more out of Odell Beckham Jr., whose sophomore performance is already near the top of the list of reasons why the Giants are in first place heading into Sunday's divisional showdown against Washington.

Beckham wants to prove he is up to the challenge of closing out his second NFL season the way he did his first, only this time leading the Giants to the playoffs.

"I take a lot of pride in myself and what I want to do for the team, same as everybody else should. We all have pride in our jobs," Beckham said Friday. "Hopefully I can take it to another level."

At 23, Beckham has embraced the quest to not only satisfy expectations, but surpass them. One year ago this past week, he captured the imagination of the sports world with a one-handed catch against the Cowboys that took on a life of its own and changed his.

That was the first of six straight games that propelled Beckham to the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award, a remarkable stretch during which he caught 60 passes from Eli Manning for 842 yards and nine touchdowns.

If Beckham finishes this season the way he did in 2014, he'd end up with 123 receptions and 1,705 yards - Steelers star Antonio Brown led the league last year with 129 catches and 1,698 yards. Beckham also could finish with 17 touchdowns, one more than Cowboys star Dez Bryant's league-leading 16 last year.

"You're either going to get better or going to get worse and there's no question what he can do," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said of Beckham. "He will be better and he'll continue to grow and develop and know more about the opposition, know more about who he's playing against, know more about what's expected when someone does something defensively to try to adjust to what you're doing.

"He's going to do nothing but get better."

Beckham has posted three consecutive 100-yard games and now takes aim at a secondary that lost cornerback Chris Culliver to a torn ACL and MCL in practice Thursday.

"[Beckham is] obviously an explosive player and he's got unbelievable hands," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. …

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