Skip to main content
Presented by

Late for Work 6/29: Odell Beckham Jr. Is on 'Slow Incline' With Offseason Preparation

WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. on His Offseason Preparation: 'It's About Peaking at the Right Time'

During a recent interview with Fox News Digital’s Scott Thompson, Odell Beckham Jr. explained why he did not participate in voluntary OTAs last month.

Beckham, who was on the field for mandatory minicamp earlier this month, said he's playing the long game regarding his preparation for the regular season.

"I think I'm at the place where I have that one more notch that I'm kicking into and I'm trying to save it because these seasons are long, man, and it's all about peaking at the right moment," Beckham said. "All the other reporters and people [say], 'Oh, you're not at OTAs' and this and that. I've seen people come out and they go through OTAs and mandatory camps and they look season ready. Then, a week or two into camp, they're burnt out.

"It's about peaking at the right time. There's no other way for me to put it. I'm on that slow incline to where, come Sept. 10 or whatever that date is, that's when I'll be ready. [I'm] not ready to play in a game right now and that's OK. I think the most important thing is about how to get there and how to last for the season."

Beckham, who hasn't played since suffering an ACL injury during the Super Bowl in February 2022, said at minicamp that he feels good about where he is in his recovery. He also noted that he and Lamar Jackson plan to work out together prior to the start of training camp in late July.

Beckham is staying active. This week, he was out golfing with rapper DJ Khaled.

Pundit Identifies Ravens' Most and Least Trustworthy Position Groups

The Baltimore Banner’s Jonas Shaffer ranked the Ravens' 10 position groups (special teams was excluded) from most to least trustworthy.

Here's a look at the top two and bottom two.

Most Trustworthy

Inside linebacker

"Patrick Queen said earlier this month that he considers the Ravens' starting duo the best in the NFL. He's not far off. Roquan Smith earned first-team All-Pro honors last season, and Queen played at a Pro Bowl level after Smith's midseason arrival. … Both are true three-down linebackers, capable of winning on a blitz, blowing up run plays and disrupting receivers in coverage. There's good depth behind them, too. Malik Harrison led the team in special teams snaps last season and is a solid run defender with starting experience. Third-round pick Trenton Simpson is an athletic specimen and, with Queen's free agency looming, the heir apparent next to Smith."

Tight end/fullback

"Mark Andrews is one of the NFL's best at the position, and the move from one tight-end-friendly coordinator, Greg Roman, to another, [Todd] Monken, can't hurt. Isaiah Likely showed flashes of greatness last season and has developed into a surprisingly capable run blocker. Charlie Kolar has the size and hands to be a red-zone weapon. All that's missing from the group is a sturdy in-line option. At fullback, Patrick Ricard is coming off his fourth straight Pro Bowl appearance and his busiest season yet. While offseason hip surgery has delayed Ricard's integration into the new offense, Ben Mason's earned valuable repetitions in his absence."

Least Trustworthy


"The Ravens' best corner, Marlon Humphrey, is one of the NFL's best, a versatile playmaker and physical presence who didn't allow a touchdown in coverage last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Their second-best corner is Rock Ya-Sin, who was still available in free agency in May and last played more than 13 games in a season in 2019. Their third-best corner — or at least the one best suited to start in the slot, if it's not Humphrey or a safety — might have limited starting experience. Despite the Ravens' investment efforts, functional depth is an issue here."

Wide receiver

"After an offseason overhaul, the group's potential is tantalizing: Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged at mandatory minicamp earlier this month that it could be the Ravens' best-ever wide receiver room. … For now, though, the Ravens look better on paper than they do in practice. [Rashod] Bateman has flashed star potential but needs to stay healthy. [Odell] Beckham hasn't played in more than a year. [Zay] Flowers is undersized and could struggle early as he acclimates to the NFL. Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken, a former wide receivers coach, will need some time as well to figure out how to optimize this group."

Steelers WR Calvin Austin III Says It's Personal for Him When He Faces Ravens

As if the heated Ravens-Steelers rivalry needed any more fuel, Pittsburgh wide receiver Calvin Austin III said he has a score to settle with the Ravens.

Baltimore reportedly wanted to take Austin in the fourth round of the 2022 draft with the 139th-overall pick, but the Steelers grabbed him at No. 138. Earlier in the round, the Ravens selected punter Jordan Stout at No. 130.

"Man, I'd be lying if I said I haven't been thinking about that," Austin said during minicamp earlier this month, via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It's wild. It's one of those things where you know, obviously, I'm blessed and I'm just so 100% glad that I came here. I'd be lying if I said that hasn't been on my mind since the draft, since that came out.

"It's personal. But that will all be settled out, lord willing, this year and the times we see them. I just have it circled. Crazy. A punter, huh?"

Austin, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds at the Combine in 2022, missed his entire rookie season after suffering a foot injury during training camp.

The Ravens have no complaints about the player they ended up selecting at No. 139. It was Isaiah Likely.

The versatile tight end had a couple of big games last season, including an eight-catch, 103-yard performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in the regular-season finale. Likely was a standout at minicamp this month and could be in line for a bigger role this season.

Jackson, Justin Tucker Remain in Pundit's Superstar Club

Jackson and Justin Tucker retained their membership in “Around the NFL Podcast” host Dan Hanzus’ NFL Superstar Club.

Hanzus established the club in 2015 and makes changes to it prior to each season. As its name indicates, the exclusive club is reserved for active players who have earned elite status. Hanzus' rule is that for a player to gain access to the club, one player from that position must have his membership revoked.

Jackson has been a club member since 2020. Last year, Tucker became the first and still the only kicker admitted to the club.

"I just want to say I'm really proud of myself for placing Tucker in this club a year ago and feel absolutely the same about everything I said last summer," wrote Hanzus, who said last year that Tucker should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Ravens Encouraged to Pursue Melvin Ingram III

Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger identified one move each team should make before training camp begins. For the Ravens, it's signing veteran edge rusher Melvin Ingram III.

"Ingram has been a pillar of consistency in the NFL, recording nine straight seasons with a 70.0-plus pass-rush grade," Spielberger wrote. "A year after Ingram was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and immediately became their best edge defender for the stretch run, he signed a steal of a one-year deal with the Dolphins and once again played at a very high level, far outpacing his compensation.

"The Ravens have 2022 second-round pick David Ojabo returning to the lineup after rehabbing a torn Achilles during his rookie season, and they are hoping for 2021 first-rounder Odafe Oweh to take another step, but adding a designated pass-rushing veteran like Ingram would make a lot of sense to help fill the void left behind by Justin Houston."

Of course, the Ravens also could fill the void left by Houston by re-signing Houston, who remains a free agent.

Quick Hits

Related Content