Big Blue defensive tackle Damon Harrison told FS1 on Tuesday that Beckham’s reputation within the locker room is much different than how he’s viewed outside of it.
“He is starting to understand now he has to change the way he’s viewed. Because he’s not that guy they make him out to be,” Harrison said, via the New York Daily News. “He’s not this immature guy who causes problems everywhere. He’s not a problem at all, actually, because if he were, I’d tell you. I’d tell him as well, but he’s not.”
Questions about Beckham’s maturity have plagued the superstar receiver in recent seasons. Beckham has been criticized for, among other things, punching a hole in the wall after last year’s playoff loss at Lambeau Field, the infamous boat trip that preceded that defeat, swinging his helmet at a kicking net during a game, and pretending to urinate like a dog this season during a touchdown celebration, which got him a private talking to by co-owner John Mara.
Several of the issues some in the outside world take with Beckham have to do with his emotional outbursts — punching the wall, fighting the kicking net, screaming on the sideline. Harrison says Beckham leads through those emotions.
“If it’s not going right, he shows his emotions. That’s how he chooses to lead,” Harrison said. “He’s a leader. He’s a leader of this football team despite what everyone believes.”
Harrison was specifically asked about the Beckham-Josh Norman incident from a couple of years ago, in which the two went after each other on the field during a game. Harrison said Beckham has grown from that experience.
“He’s not a 25, 24-year-old second-year guy that we see now,” Harrison said. “He’s what 25, 26 going into his fourth or fifth year in the league. He’s the greatest talent we’ve seen at the National Football League at the wide receiver position, in my opinion. … he can run, he can pass, he can jump, he’s a willing blocker. The thing with Josh Norman, have you seen Josh Norman play cornerback? He’s a very aggressive guy and Odell is a very aggressive receiver, so that’s bound to happen.”
With Beckham set to earn a massive contract extension down the line — he’s entering the final year of his rookie contract — Harrison made it clear that keeping the talented, but diva-ish wideout won’t cause a stir in the Giants locker room.