CLEVELAND — Suffice to say, Odell Beckham Jr.'s Cleveland Browns debut didn't go the way he wanted it to. Despite entering the 2019 season favored to win the AFC North, the Browns turned in one of their worst season openers in franchise history, losing to the Tennessee Titans by a score of 43-13.
But while there was plenty to criticize in Cleveland Sunday, one of Beckham's biggest frustrations had nothing to do with what was happening on the field, but rather in the stands.
Speaking to reporters after the game, the 3-time Pro Bowl wide receiver said he was disappointed that the Browns' performance resulted in many fans leaving FirstEnergy Stadium as early as the start of the fourth quarter.
"That stadium was ready for us. For those fans, we don't want to see them leaving with nine minutes left," said Beckham, who caught 7 passes for 71 yards in his Browns debut. "We want to be able to stay there and fight through it. I know there's been losing around here but that's not what we're here to do. So we've just got to have everybody stick with us -- the fans as well. And this team has to come together. and we've just got to play better."
While Beckham's comments may strike a nerve with some Browns fans, it's worth noting he seemed more disappointed that the team's performance resulted in fans leaving than with the fans actually leaving. But while the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year was complimentary of the atmosphere emanating from FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, he denied that the Browns' blowout loss -- in which it amassed 18 penalties for 182 yards -- was the result of the team buying into its own hype.
“No disrespect, but we do not really listen to the media," Beckham said. "It is not like when we lineup, we are thinking about what this reporter said or we have to go out and do that. This is still football so there is really no hype or expectations. There is a confidence within this group, and that is just what this team has. There are no expectations to really listen to."