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Odell Beckham Jr. Is Looking at the Big Picture Amidst Slower-Than-Expected Start

WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.

There's no doubt that Odell Beckham Jr. is frustrated by his slower-than-expected start as a Baltimore Raven, but the superstar wide receiver is trying to stay patient by looking at the bigger picture.

Beckham was held without a catch Sunday in Arizona for the first time in a full game as a professional.

"Obviously, I'm not where I want to be, but when I signed here, I said I wanted to come here, win a Super Bowl and win, and we're 6-2 and on the way to that, so just got to keep going," Beckham said. "[It's] a long season.

"I've got high expectations, high standards, but ultimately, this is a team game."

Beckham said he "didn't come here with the expectation that I'd be going for 2,000 yards."

He has 14 catches for 162 yards near midpoint of the season and is still looking for his first touchdown.

Rookie Zay Flowers leads the Ravens with 61 targets. Tight end Mark Andrews is second with 45. Then comes Beckham at 26, despite missing two games due to an ankle injury.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have been giving him chances, but Beckham was interfered with in the end zone on one target last week in Arizona – one of three penalties he drew in the game as opponents continue to get handsy with the Ravens' veteran.

Head Coach John Harbaugh gave Beckham a game ball after Sunday's win in Arizona, showing appreciation for the work he's doing and penalties that helped the team.

"He's going to catch the ball, so they have to do their best to keep him away from the ball," Jackson said Wednesday. "They're doing a good job of it right now, but he's going to get on the scoreboard. I believe it's happening fast. It's going to come. It's going to happen."

There's no doubt that Beckham is growing weary of being held. Asked if he takes pride in causing pass interference penalties, Beckham said, "not really."

"I wish the numbers went into the stats, but they don't, so …" Beckham said. "Just get open, catch the ball – that's all I can do – and just do a better job at that."

Beckham had a spectacular offseason and glowed about his state of mind and how much he loved being a Raven. He helped ice an opening-week win against the Texans with a late 29-yard catch.

An ankle injury suffered in Week 2 in Cincinnati, however, derailed that early momentum. Beckham has also been taking some practice time off the past couple weeks because of a shoulder issue.

"It was very hard earlier in the season, with what I had going on just kind of unexpectedly, and it just was very hard to have that initial burst," Beckham said. "And when you go out there and you don't feel like you're 100 [percent], it's very hard – with the things that are going on – just to be who I know I am. So, it feels good to just be able to consistently … Over time, it gets better and better and better."

Beckham feels he's on the cusp of a breakout and reminded reporters that it's a new offense and this is about the time when they should start to find a groove. Even if he's not the Ravens' leading receiver, Beckham would like to find himself as a key playmaker in that mix.

"It's just walking that fine line of being grateful to be back on the field, but definitely not being content with where I'm at or how I feel internally about what's going on," Beckham said.

Beckham missed an entire year of football because of a major knee injury. He put in a lot of work to have a successful comeback, but it hasn't panned out the way he envisioned – yet. He said he feels he's getting close to a breakout performance.

"We want to come here and jump off the bat. You feel like you've worked hard [and] you sat out a long time," Beckham said. "But again, I don't think many of us are sitting where we are at in our lives and expected to be exactly where we're at and [for] things to go exactly how they went.

"It's a matter of understanding life is life, and it's going to continue to do that. It doesn't stop; it's going to keep rolling. It's like surfing; some waves you crash; some waves you ride all the way in. You've just got to get back up on the board, continue to do that, stay resilient."

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