CLEVELAND — When the Cleveland Browns acquired wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants back in March, he was touted as a game-breaking talent that was going to lead the team’s resurgence, but over the last two weeks, that has not been the case.
The Browns have struggled to get the ball to Beckham Jr., to the tune of just four catches, two each in the last two games, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry believes to solve that problem, the offense needs to make a more concerted effort to involve the playmakers in the game plan.
“From my perspective, we just have to be intentional,” Landry said earlier this week. “We have to deliberately get him the ball, get all of our playmakers the ball. Guys that are going to make plays for us, just get them the ball.
“We’ve just got to find ways to be more intentional. I just believe in that. We’ve got to find ways to get guys that we believe are our game-changers the ball, and the defense has got to try to stop it. I don’t think it should ever be about us. I think the defense should have their hands full and should have to stop us.”
Beckham Jr. leads the Browns with 23 receptions, which he has converted into 335 yards and one touchdown, an 89-yard score in a 23-3 win over the New York Jets in Week 2. Additionally, Beckham Jr. has rushed for 15 yards on two carries and completed one of his two pass attempts for a 20-yard gain.
Beckham Jr. has averaged more than five touches per game since joining the Browns in the offseason, but his targets and receptions have decreased in each of the last two weeks.
“He’s a key part of our offense, whether he has the ball in his hands or not,” Landry said.
“We’ve got to find ways for other guys to continue to make plays, but the way that it’s been going, we haven’t really been making enough plays without him touching the ball. We’ve definitely got to find a way to include him even more in the offense and be intentional with it.”
Beckham Jr. believes the receivers hold just as much responsibility in the lack of playmaking moments as anyone, including the game planning and play of quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“Just the only thing I can think of is you just have to -- it sounds funny -- do better, do more to get open and do more when we do get an opportunity,” Beckham Jr. said.
Beckham Jr. was trying to spark the team so much in Monday’s 31-3 loss at the San Francisco 49ers that he returned a punt midway through the fourth quarter. Although the play resulted in a fumble, Beckham Jr.’s willingness to return punts shows his commitment to winning.
“I hate losing, period,” Beckham Jr. said. “Any time we lose and I do not feel like I did anything to help win the game, I am going to be frustrated. That is just the bottom line. I am a winner in my heart, and I hate losing.
“It’s whatever to win. I just want to help. I feel like I was brought here to help. I feel like I was brought here to help this team win, and that’s all I want to do. If it has to be handoffs, it’s whatever. Just finding ways to have successful plays, not just, ‘Give me the ball to appease me,’ or anything like that. It’s more about having success within the game, within the team.”