BEREA, Ohio -- For most, the thought of being "the new kid in school" is a horrifying feeling filled with dread, anxiety and worst of all, uncertainty.
Suffice to say, Odell Beckham Jr. isn't "most."
Standing in front of a throng of reporters on Wednesday, Beckham compared this week's minicamp to his first day in class after the March trade in which the Cleveland Browns acquired him from the New York Giants. Only rather than feeling uncomfortable, the 3-time Pro Bowl wide receiver could hardly hide his smile as he excitedly discussed his new team, which possesses a plethora of potential.
"Words don't even really do it justice being out here. I'm almost giddy. I feel like a kid -- the excitement that I have," Beckham said. "We talk a lot about this offense, but this defense is something special and this team is really coming together ... I'm beyond excited about the opportunity I have."
Over the course of 19-plus minutes, the 26-year-old discussed an array of topics, including his new customized Rolls Royce, relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield and comments he made to GQ earlier this offseason about wanting to turn the Browns into the New England Patriots-like dynasty. A reoccurring theme, however, seemed to be his ability to attract criticism, which occurred recently when he attended just one of his new team's 10 Organized Team Activity sessions last month.
For Beckham, the extended absence from OTAs -- which are optional -- was not only about getting his body adequately prepared, but also his mind. And if Wednesday was any indication, he accomplished just that, as he stated he's in the best place mentally he's ever been.
"I don't think anybody really knows what it's like to be me, but me and what I go through on a daily basis," Beckham said. "It's like every single thing, I have to deal with. That's something that nobody else, I feel like, has to deal with. I feel like I'm in a way different position than anybody else in the NFL.
"I've done things in the past, but I'm trying to keep it growing, keep pushing as a man. I feel like for me to grow, the only way is for everybody else around me to grow. That's really what I'm trying to do. Mentally, physically, spiritually, I've gone to a different place. For the people that know me, they know I'm in a place I've never been in in my entire life. I'm just happy with where I'm at."
That rings true physically as well.
While Cleveland might not have the same bright lights as New York, it provides a more obvious opportunity to win. Coming off a 7-8-1 season in 2018, the Browns' possess a roster brimming with exciting young talent and appear poised to make a playoff push in the year to come.
Given his previous comments about the Patriots -- which he didn't back down from on Wednesday -- that's obviously exciting to Beckham, who made the postseason just once in five seasons with the Giants.
"The goal’s always going to be the same: Hang banners,” he said.
As for potential criticisms, the polarizing player knows those aren't going anywhere. "Shots get taken, I'm 'Quick Draw McGraw,' I can fire back," Beckham said with a smile.
But he also appears to be in a place where the biggest thing on his mind is the fresh start he's set to embark on.
“I do see a lot of potential with this team, and not even just because I’m here,” he said. “I really feel it, and I feel something in the air, something special that Cleveland hasn’t had for a while. And I’m happy to be a part of that. I hope that I can help do whatever I need to do to push that way.”