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Transcripts: Odell Beckham Jr. Introductory Press Conference (4/13)

Eric DeCosta opening statement:"Well first of all everybody, thanks for coming out today. It's exciting for us and a great opportunity for us to announce Odell Beckham as our latest addition to the team. Welcome to his beautiful family. We had the chance to spend some time with them last night. His son – who I already want to represent in about 20 years – because he's going to be a heck of an athlete. It was really a whirlwind for us; this has been something that's been really percolating over the past year. We've had conversations with Odell's agent, Zeke [Sandhu], who's here today. This has been something that we've been focused on really going back to last October; we've had conversations to try to possibly, potentially get something worked out. It's a great feeling for us. We had a chance to attend Odell's workout last month in Arizona. We also had the chance to spend some time with him in Arizona during the [NFL] owner's meetings several weeks ago. [It was a] great meeting. We went into it knowing we were the underdogs, and sometimes it's a great story; sometimes the underdog wins. We're thrilled to have him here today, and we're thrilled for what this means for our football team. (Odell Beckham Jr. responding to his son's cooing: "Those are excitement cries. He's excited.") (Head coach John Harbaugh: "He wants to be on the ground running around right now.")He was trying to get on the table last night; really excellent quickness, agility, short-area burst. (John Harbaugh: "He escaped a couple of times.") (Odell Beckham Jr.: "He's ready.")Questions?" 

What are your expectations of whether QB Lamar Jackson will be QB1, what communications did you have with him and the figureheads beside you about that and how did that factor into your decision or not? (Josina Anderson) 

Beckham Jr.:"I've talked to Lamar [Jackson] while we were out there, and I know that's a better discussion for these two as far as how this is being handled, but the goal was to come here and have that possibility to play with him. I'm excited about that opportunity. As far as the team, I'm just ready to bring leadership, ready to bring ... I've been out for a long time; I had to sit there and watch everyone else play. I'm just excited to get back on the field. It's good to be where you're wanted, and like [executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta] said, we've had communication since last October. [Baltimore] showed me that you wanted me to be here, and that I was going to be a very big piece to this organization, so I'm definitely excited about that." 

Before you signed, did you get any assurances from QB Lamar Jackson that you guys would be playing together this year? (Jamison Hensley) 

Beckham Jr.: "I didn't get any assurances for anything. Life is uncertain; I think that we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, the next day. We only know what's happened in the past, so to me, it was just excitement about the possibility of that. My thoughts would be that he would be here. I know that these two [executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh] want him to be here. At the end of the day, it's going to be up to them." 

Throughout your career, you've always been a natural fit in a big city like New York or Los Angeles. You're a star personality, but Baltimore doesn't necessarily fit that profile, so why did you choose the Ravens? (Gerry Sandusky) 

Beckham Jr.: "Well, I was in Cleveland. (laughter)It's also not the biggest of cities. For me, it was great to be in New York early in my career, and then I went to Cleveland, and I didn't have as much success, and then I went to L.A., and I had success. At the end of the day, the common denominator between all of that was I cared about football. I cared about being great, I cared about ... I worked my entire life since I was – I don't want to say [Zdyn's] age – but since I was four years old, looking my mom in her eyes and telling her, 'I'm practicing for Sunday.' So, to me, it's always been about football. The big cities are great; they gave me extra opportunities off the field, but at the end of the day, I didn't care what was going on as long as I was catching touchdowns and having that hard work kind of pay off." 

Talk about Ravens new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, at his press conference, he went on and on about you. (Vinny Cerrato) 

Beckham Jr.: "We had a great relationship in Cleveland. To be honest, there just wasn't ... You know when certain situations just aren't for people; it's not anyone's fault or anything that happens, it's just life goes that way, and things don't work out the way that you would want to. So, we had great rapport there, great communication. I remember him and I trying to really figure out what's going on and bring everyone together. So, I have nothing but love for him. I got to watch what he did at Georgia, watched the success he had. [I'm] just excited about the opportunity that's in front of me and just kind of watching that offense and seeing what was done, I just know that it should be a lot of fun." 

Have you talked to QB Lamar Jackson since signing WR Odell Beckham Jr., and do you think this does anything to hopefully speed things along and get some assurance that he will be here? (Morgan Adsit) 

_DeCosta: _"Well, I have not talked to Lamar [Jackson] since the [Beckham Jr.] signing. There's been interaction along the way. Lamar is in our plans; we love Lamar. Our feelings about Lamar have not changed one bit since the end of the season. We're hopeful, still, that we'll get a long-term deal done. He's the right player for this team to lead us to where we want to be. I think the locker room knows that; the organization knows that; I think the fan base knows that. So, it's ongoing, but I can't think of a situation where we wouldn't think that our best team is with Lamar Jackson on the team in September." 

What football-wise factored into your decision to sign with Baltimore, and how much did the possibility of playing with QB Lamar Jackson factor into that, too? (Brian Wacker) 

Beckham Jr.: "Definitely. Obviously, it's the obvious feeling in the room, but I've been around – I was in the AFC North – I've been around Baltimore and whopped by them plenty of times. (laughter)I know what kind of team they are. One of my favorite things that [executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta] was talking about was that underdog story. I was an underdog all my life; I wasn't the Number One receiver in my class; I was a four-star [recruit]; I didn't have it easy coming up till I got to New York, and then I had some success. So, I've been the underdog all my life. I've still been counted out; I'm still counted out, and that kind of excites me. This is a team that has great talent all across the board; offensive line, running backs, receiver room, defense is great. It boiled down to ... I'm in a place in my life where it means a lot more to be wanted than 'someone would love to have you,' because a lot of places would love to have you, but where you're really wanted, you can then pour your heart into that even more. It's just a lot easier from where I'm at [and] just the type of person I am. That was the situation; it wasn't about so much money, it wasn't about anything, it was that they showed that they wanted me to be here, and that they see me as a piece to come here and help them win. I got one ring, and it was a bittersweet champagne. I remember having talks with God, and he was just like, 'I know it wasn't exactly what you wanted; I know it was bittersweet.' He was like, 'Next time that you get to taste that champagne, it will be the best thing you've ever tasted.' So, to me, it's all about getting these rings; it's all about being great, excellent every single day and winning championships." 

What are some of the things that the team did to show you that love and show you how much they wanted you here? (Jeff Zrebiec) 

Beckham Jr.: "It's the conversations, for one. [Owner] Steve [Bisciotti] reached out and that conversation, I remember texting my agent like, 'I want to be a Raven.' He had me fired up just about the opportunity, about the team. I don't know how else to say it, but it was just, 'To show you we want you here,' is the only way I can break it down to you. I can't give you a specific example of what it was, it just was the love that was shown. I'm a person who's all about love. Showing love, you get love. They showed me a lot of love, and now it's my duty to give that back. That's something that's going to be very easy for me because I know that I was wanted here." 

You referenced the bittersweet of the Super Bowl. You are coming back from a second ACL injury. Where are you in that process? Are you feeling healthier than you have in a long time? (Childs Walker) 

Beckham Jr.: _"Well, I'm feeling great, and I don't know if it's the second ACL because that whole season [2021] I was playing without it. It was a crazy thing; I signed with the L.A. Rams, and I remember [Rams team physician Neal] ElAttrache comes down there and he's like, 'I just have to inform you that you don't have an ACL. We can redo your surgery right now,' and this was Week 9 of the season. I just told him, 'I've been through way too much to come here and sign. There was way too much talk on my name the past year. I came here to help win the championship.' I told him I would die on the sword, and that was just the kind of reference that I used. I just cared that much about playing. So, I feel great now. I'm still in my process of getting ready for September, because we don't play tomorrow, we don't play a week from now, a month from now; we play in September, so it's about getting ready for that, being in the best physical shape I can be, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, all that. I had to sit back and watch everybody have fun last year and do backflips in the end zone and hit the gritty. _(laughter)Just everybody got to have fun, and I was just licking at the chops wanting to be back out there. Football isn't who I am, but it's a big part of me, because I could have played a bunch of other sports, and I sacrificed a lot to play this one. My most important thing and focus this year is only about this year. That's the only thing on my mind; [I'm] not looking to the year after it, [and I'm] not looking to the past years. It's about this year and what I can do and what I can bring to this team." 

There has been a lot said about the contract given to WR Odell Beckham Jr. He's a done a lot in this league, but a lot of people are equating it to being a gamble. What gives you the confidence that this can work this year? (Cordell Woodland) 

DeCosta: _"We evaluate the players. This is a player that we've played against many times. That's what we do for a living; we talk to people, we evaluate the player, [and] we have a lot of information. Where we are as a team right now, this was the guy that we felt could help take us to the next level. We saw him – his last game that he played in – quite honestly, he was probably the best player on the field. We've had lots of players come back from this type of injury and flourish over time. Like I said, we've played huge games against this guy. Remember the game – it was a tough game for [head coach] John [Harbaugh] and I – but in New York, and I don't know how many yards [Odell Beckham Jr.] had, but it was probably about 200. _(Head coach John Harbaugh: "Odell [Beckham Jr.] remembers. He reminded me.") (laughter)It was a lot of yards. Our players have a lot of respect for this guy, [and] our fans are going to love watching Odell play football. He's 100 percent invested. That's one thing – as a scout – that we're always looking for is, 'Is this guy going to come in and be 100 percent invested in our program, and what we believe in and our culture?' I have to tell you, after two minutes in Arizona sitting across the table from Odell, I had no doubt in my mind that this was the right guy for the team." 

Given you are healthy now, how do you feel like you can bring your experience and your leadership? What have your conversations with some of your new teammates been like so far? _(Sherree Burruss) _ 

Beckham Jr.: _"One quote I've always lived by is, 'You're only as good as your last game.' It can be up for debate, but I think I was well on the way to being MVP in that [Super Bowl LVI] game. It's just the type of mentality that I have; it's in my heart since I was a kid. I'm not worried about coming back from this because I've come back before, and now I'm way past the mental part of, 'Am I going to be alright?' and all of those [questions]. Football is different; when you get out there, and you're getting hit, you're going to have to get used to that anyways. Just as far as the teammates reaching out and just being able to be that guy. I know it's a bunch of younger receivers in the room, but I remember when I was the young receiver, I was still kind of the veteran in the room even when I was the younger guy. Now, I'll be able to teach plenty of things I've learned. I'm also one of the people who I can always learn from anyone. I can learn from someone way younger than me, way older than me, I can learn from [Zydn], too. _(laughter)If you're not in a place where you can learn and pass on the knowledge, then you're probably in the wrong place. I'm just excited." 

Given what you went through to come back and what you said about having to sit out the last year, was it an emotional process for you when you verbally agreed to this deal? Has this been an emotional couple of days for you? (Jeff Zrebiec) 

Beckham Jr.: "I think I'm still trying to process the emotions. It all happened so fast. When the surgery first happened to two to three months after that, it was very hard on me. There were some dark days that I really had to climb myself out of, and now being here with the black and purple on or the all black over there ... That part's all behind me, and I have a vision, I have a future, [and] I have something that I'm looking forward to. I'm just excited. I'm excited, but I'm also very determined and hungry, so through the smiles there's still this eye that, 'I really want this badly.' I'm ready to be great, ready to be excellent again. I'm just ready for that opportunity." 

We all remember your battles with CB Marlon Humphrey over the years, including 2019. What is practice going to be like with Marlon, and have you talked to him? (Shawn Stepner) 

Beckham Jr.: _"I talked to him. I'm going to have to give him a few headbutts, and we're going to have to hug it out. _(laughter)Then, it's, 'We're on the same team.' Our goal – and I know that for sure – is going to be to sharpen each other each and every day. I'm excited about being able to work with somebody like that. This is one of the great corners in the league, an All-Pro, Pro Bowl corner. But definitely, we'll get to battle it out, and talk a little to each other, and then that's it because we're on the same squad. I know that I've already communicated with him, [and] I think we're both excited about this opportunity. At the end of the day, I don't have beef with anybody; I don't have any bad blood or anything like that. Life's way too short for that. I have things going on in my life that are very important, so I think we're both excited about it." 

At what point did you physically turn the corner, and how close are you to where you were previously? _(Brian Wacker) _ 

Beckham Jr.: _"I couldn't give you an exact day, but there was definitely a time period where it was a lot harder for me. Now, after being a year removed, I think going into that 13 months, 14 months out of your surgery, you start to really turn the corner. I look at it – we're in early-mid April – you have May, June, July, August. That's five months until we're on the field and rolling. For me, that's plenty of time; I have plenty of confidence. It's just time to get to work, and I'm excited about that. Like I said, it's very hard for a man to have no vision and feel as if you have no purpose. Then, you have no direction; there's nowhere really to go. That was kind of the path that I was on, and this gave me that structure, this gave me that excitement again. I've been waiting for a long time to get back on the field. So, I couldn't give you an exact date. _(Reporter: "How close are you to pre-injury form would you say?")I don't know how to exactly answer that, but I guess we'll see in September. I'm excited about it. Like I said in my tweet, we're going to see." 

You've had many players come in for free agent visits and Draft visits. Was there anything in particular that you were hoping to learn about WR Odell Beckham Jr. when you met with him in Phoenix? What was that whole experience like? (Jeff Zrebiec) 

Harbaugh: "Not really just Phoenix, probably the whole process going back to November last year, December. We had a few conversations throughout [that time]. Those kinds of conversations, especially where Odell [Beckham Jr.] was at. We were fighting to try to make a season, and he was fighting to get his way back. I think he kind of wanted to maybe think about playing at that point in time, and we had some really honest conversations. That's what struck me more than anything, was just his honesty. He was very much an open book in terms of what he was thinking, what he wanted to do, where he was going. [He was] not trying to sell anything or talk about anything other than, 'This is really where I'm at. This is what I'm thinking,' [and] asking where we're at. Just those kinds of conversations, kind of culminating in Phoenix when we had a chance to be face to face and just kind of connect in that way. It was really easy, and normal and natural. I just was struck by his straightforwardness and honesty." 

Did you have any concern when deciding to sign here, given the uncertainty at the quarterback position? _(Tim Barbalace) _ 

Beckham Jr.: _"If you look at the other situations I was going into, everything was uncertain. Like I say, life is uncertain. Obviously, I would assume that it's going to work out; I have that faith and that hope. And Lamar [Jackson], I know, if you're watching, _(waves his hand) (laughter)I would love to get to work with you. I'll talk to these guys over here. And hopefully that gets done. When you think about the Ravens, you definitely think about Lamar, and that's something … I was excited about that possibility. Life is not certain – just to keep it short." 

Will you be at organized team activities and minicamp, or will you not be with the team until the fall? _(Vinny Cerrato) _ 

Beckham Jr.: _"When I get on the field?" _(Reporter: "Yes.") "That will be a discussion with the training room, coaches, everybody. Like I say, I think … I've been in this situation before, where this is made more important than this [media] side of the room than your teammates. If you're at OTAs [organized team activities], and you were a great guy, and you get out onto the field during the season and you don't perform, I don't think your teammates are going to be like, 'Well, he was at OTAs, and he was there.' It's more about that guy that's going to come show up for you on Sundays and be able to produce. But there's also being in a new group and being able to bond with those guys; I get the balance. So, it's something that we'll sit down and figure out. But I always deep down inside thought that it was made more of a thing over that way than it really is with the guys that you share blood, sweat and tears with and [who] you're with more hours than your family." 

Putting together a team is as much art as science. What's the art of bringing in a major personality or a start and integrating him into a team where he is part of the team and not just a guy that other guys know? _(Gerry Sandusky) _ 

Harbaugh: "Yes, it's probably just simpler than that; it's football. Odell [Beckham Jr.] … I don't care who you are in this league, you've been a part of teams your whole life; you've been in locker rooms; you've been around guys. It's just part of being a part of a team. It's like the practice schedule – everything is just paced, in terms of what puts us in the best position when we need to play the games in September. So, [Odell Beckham Jr.] getting with the guys in the locker room is going to be easy; that's going to be normal. It's going to be ... [In] meeting rooms, it's going to be football – just keep it about football, keep it about a bunch of guys trying to be the best they can be. And we're fine. We've got good guys. We've got a really strong group of people, and [Odell Beckham Jr.] is a good person, so I'm excited to see it. I can't wait to get in the middle of it – get on the grass and just be watching these guys operate together; that's what's fun for a coach." 

I know you said you haven't talked to QB Lamar Jackson since the Beckham Jr. signing, but Lamar said he requested a trade back on March 2nd. Have you spoken to Lamar since that point, and what was the conversation like? And do you feel like Lamar wants to be here? _(Jamison Hensley) _ 

_DeCosta: _"Yes, we have communicated since that date. It would probably be not smart on my part to talk about those details, because Lamar [Jackson] and I have decided together that we weren't going to discuss that stuff personally. In saying that, as I said, we only think of Lamar as the quarterback of this team, and we're hopeful to get a deal done. It's been – as you all know – a very long process, but a lot of times, the best things in life take a long time, and I'd go back to this guy [Odell Beckham Jr.] right here; it took a long time to get him here. We started last year, and we finally got him. And so, these things take time, they take a lot of work, and they take a lot of patience. And we'll continue to work to do what we can to field the very best possible team come September to win a Championship, which is our ultimate goal." 

Can you just share the exuberance that QB Lamar Jackson had with you on FaceTime and right after that? What were some of the words shared? And can you describe or characterize the nature of your relationship with him? (Josina Anderson) 

Beckham Jr.: "Absolutely. [Lamar Jackson] seemed excited. I don't know if he called me [or] I called him or whatever, but he was just like, obviously, 'Truzz.' (laughter)But he just was excited about it – like, excited about the opportunity, the possibility. And I could sit up here and tell you I've been in the middle of it; I've been in the contract negotiations; I've been on the side where you've worked your entire life for, [No.] 1, first, to get to the NFL, then the second-most important thing is to take care of your family and get your contract. And it's a very thin line when it's your heart that's involved, and you are a personable person, and you feel like you've done so much, and you deserve this, and then the business side gets in the way. It's just the nature of the business that we're in. Like, it's very tough. There's no written script for it or how to handle it or how to deal with it. But I could definitely tell that he was excited about the opportunity to be able to get to work, if that does present itself. At the end of the day … Obviously, he is who I would love to play with. I've watched him for years. He reminds me of one of my favorite players – a guy who ... I grew up in Atlanta a little bit, playing in the Georgia Dome when I was seven, eight years old, and I remember how Mike Vick looked at me and looked me in my eyes and gave me love; 'How [are] you doing, young man?' Blah, blah, blah. And that made me who I am today in the sense that I was going to be like that for the kids. I was always going to be able to show them that love. And that's why I think I love kids so much – is because of how he placed that on me. So, I'm excited about it. Lamar, I hope that it all works out for you, and it gets done. If I could hand it over to you, I'd hand it over to you, but that's out of my payroll. So, I'm just excited about it. I can't wait for the opportunity." 

Have you spoken to offensive coordinator Todd Monken since WR Odell Beckham Jr. was signed? And how excited was he for the opportunity to have a wide receiver like Odell? _(Melissa Kim) _ 

Harbaugh: "[Offensive coordinator] Todd [Monken] is fired up. Todd is excited. I'm a little surprised he's not sitting there right now; he's probably drawing up plays for Odell [Beckham Jr.] and Lamar [Jackson]. So, that's it as a coach … [Beckham Jr. and Monken] know each other. I know they've talked, and he's in the laboratory; I've seen some of the drawings, so we've got some good stuff. We'll be ready to go." 

Can you talk about how meaningful it was for owner Steve Bisciotti to reach out to you during the recruitment process? _(Jonas Shaffer) _ 

Beckham Jr.: "[With] him [owner Steve Bisciotti] reaching out is really, I feel like, what set it over the edge. And like I said, the conversation we had … We just chopped it up as two men talking. It wasn't so much the business side and everything that was going on. We just … He made me feel wanted. He made me feel like somebody wants me to be here, wants me to be great, wants me to be a part of this team and this organization. And at this point in my life, that's everything I need – is to be wanted – and that's pretty much the story for me. And again, that allows me to come here and put my hard hat on every single day and know that these guys believed in me; not to say that no one else did, but they believed in me. And I'm going to come here and put my best foot forward every day." 

Everywhere you've played, numerous teammates have talked about how much they love playing with you and what a great teammate you are. How important is that to you? And why do you think sometimes you haven't been perceived that way? _(Cliff Brown) _ 

Beckham Jr.: "I'll be honest, I've made mistakes in my past, but who hasn't as a young man who's got the entire world spotlighted on him? Again, I always tell people [that] when I was out there making one-handed catches, I wasn't holding the camera and pointing at it [while] making the catch, saying, 'Look at me.' I'm not pointing any of you all out, but I think the stories came more from over there, and then headlines came, and titles came and, 'Diva, drama,' this, whatever, and the way our world works is those five names, they take them, and they run with them and they run with them each place they go, and that's just how it works. But everyone who has ever met me, as far as a teammate … Not that I know of anyone who is going to say anything bad. When I'm in the room with people, it's a completely different, completely different feel. I definitely think that I could have done some things differently, as a young man, but we all live and learn, and we grow through our mistakes. And here I am now – [where] I can acknowledge some of the things that I did. But I know who I am as a person, and I think my perception of who I am is always going to walk into the room before I do, and that's just the nature of where I'm at in life. And I can deal with that, I can live with that deep down inside, because I know who I am, and that's just the reality of the situation." 

Your identify as a father is obviously abundantly clear. Can you talk about how your son has changed you as a person and as a player? _(Ryan Mink) _ 

Beckham Jr.: _"I can't even … I would say sleep is one of them. _(laughter)But I can't express what he does for me. When I look at him in his eyes, or [when] I haven't seen him in a couple hours, and I come home, and I could have had the worst day ever, and he's at the door [saying] 'Dada.' There are no words to describe that feeling. I remember, my mom used to always joke with me; she was like, 'Just wait until you have a kid.' And I was like, 'I already know.' It's just a different feeling when I have him in my arms, or he's running around, and I see the smile that's on his face. He's completely changed me forever. And you can't do it alone. His mom is a great mom; my mom is there to take care of him; his auntie is there; his papa is over there. My whole family is here, and they help. It takes a community to raise him, and I'm just blessed to have that kind of love around me – that gives me that support – and then I'm able to do what I need to do. It's just a great team that I have. I couldn't do it without any of them." 

Is there such thing as momentum to an offseason when you're building a team? And does signing WR Odell Beckham Jr. shift that momentum for you guys at all, whether that's internal feeling or external perception? _(Adam Kilgore) _ 

_DeCosta: _"That's a deep question. Momentum, I think, it's just really how you just attack every day. We just try to stack a lot of positive days as best as we can. Sometimes you all may not realize, but it might just be [when] we find some good guys on tape that we like in the Draft or maybe just signing somebody to a minimum deal. You're just stacking good days. Coming in, being positive, working together and trying to do whatever you can to build the best team. You're not always going to hit the home run. You can hit a bunch of singles; you can walk; you can steal a base. There are a lot of different ways to go about it. In the end, you want to hit some home runs. But certainly, for us, as we approach every single day leading up to the Draft … It's like, every day, I go home … 'Did we get better as a football team? What did we do today to get better?' Maybe it's [that] we saved some cap room; maybe it's we signed a vet; maybe it's we saw a player at Saginaw Valley State who we like quite a bit. But it's just that mindset of every day just kind of building the best team we can. I think if you do that over time, you're going to win some games, and that's how we approach the roster." 

You've tried to build the wide receiver position through the Draft in recent years. Was it more of a priority this offseason to sign a proven player and make a bigger financial investment? _(Noah Trister) _ 

DeCosta: _"Yes, we still believe very strongly in the Draft, and I am very excited to see our young guys this year; let me say that first and foremost. I believe very, very strongly in Rashod [Bateman], Devin [Duvernay], James [Proche II] and Tylan [Wallace] – all those guys. We brought in Nelson [Agholor]. We really do believe in that group. There are a lot of different ways to attack the roster, and one of the things, as we think about it … Is there a way for us to bring a veteran in – a proven veteran, who has proven that he can win a game for you when the game needs to be won? Does that possibility exist? And we've tried in the past. This isn't the first time we've tried to do that. Sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you don't, and there are a lot of different factors. Sometimes you might have the best offer, and the guy feels really good someplace else. Sometimes you may not win that financial game." _(Odell Beckham Jr.: "Did I hurt you that much?" – laughter)"No, I'm saying … But sometimes (laughter)… But sometimes you might … A guy might not want to play on the east coast. Sometimes a guy wants to be in the southeast. Sometimes a guy wants to play for a specific coach or whatever it is. So, there are a lot of different reasons why. But in this case, we found the right person to come here. Odell [Beckham Jr.] wanted to be here, we wanted Odell very badly, and we think that this is going to be a great acquisition in the short term and hopefully the long term." 

There's been a perception in the past – whether it's fair or not – that big-time wide receivers don't want to come play here in this offense. Did you think through that at all, and was that a factor for you at all? And do you think that it is kind of a misguided perception? _(Childs Walker) _ 

_Beckham Jr.: _"I don't really know if I ever thought about it. I just see No. 8 [Lamar Jackson] out there, and I know that he can throw the ball. We always talk about perception and perception versus reality, and there was perception that Lamar [Jackson] wasn't a passer, and then there's reality that he can throw the ball all over the field. So, I don't really take too much into perception anymore; I kind of just live in my reality. And for me, it was about being wanted. And I know what [offensive coordinator Todd] Monken did at Georgia; I know what this team has and what they're built around. Again, like I said, I was in Cleveland, so I was in a running style; I was in the same division. I went to LSU, where we ran the ball all the time, [and] I still went for 1,000 yards. To be able to have a great pass game, you've got to be able to run the football, so it's always balanced. I don't really think I thought about why there wasn't anybody who didn't come through here. I don't think I thought about it." 

You're one of the more popular players in the league, and you're one of the few guys in the locker room that kind of can relate to that. Does that help, in terms of locker room chemistry with QB Lamar Jackson _(Cordell Woodland) _ 

_Beckham Jr.: _"As far as being a popular player? Like I say, once we leave right here, and we're all in the locker room, we don't think about that. I don't think about … If I wasn't me, and [I] walked into the locker room – this might be just the kind of person I am – I wouldn't think about, 'Oh, how is he?' or anything like that, or, 'He's a big personality,' I just … We're all humans. At the end of the day, we all have mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters; we all have emotions; we all have things that are in common, and I think that's where people in the locker room … That's how we relate to each other. It's not so much the outside stories or anything like that; it's more about how humans connect to one another." 

As executive vice president & general manager Eric DeCosta negotiates with QB Lamar Jackson, and WR Odell Beckham Jr. hopes to catch passes from Lamar, you're a head coach who is facing uncertainty as you try to prepare a team. It's the first time you've been in this position. How is that impacting your offseason? _(Mark Viviano) _ 

_Harbaugh: _"No, I think you're in this position all the time; it's just a different type of a circumstance. So, what positions you need, who you're looking at, who you're looking at in the Draft, I just think it's ongoing, [and] you're always trying to build your team. This move [to sign Odell Beckham Jr.] is a big move. We talked about it; it's an exciting move for us. It's a big move for us. But it's a move that we had an opportunity to make, and he wants to be here, and we wanted him here, and he fits perfectly, so you strike. And I think that's true for all the things [executive vice president & general manager] Eric [DeCosta] was talking about. All the different moves, whatever they are, you try to build your team, so just keep doing it. I'm confident that all that stuff has a way of working itself out in the end, and everything ends up the way it's supposed to be, because you do your best, and everybody is in a good place. So, it hasn't been hard at all. We're just working hard and trying to make our team as good as it can be. And today is a really good day. Today is a great day for the Ravens." 

What kind of changes can be made to the offense now with an addition like WR Odell Beckham Jr. to your roster? _(Kyle Barber) _ 

_Harbaugh: _"Oh, yes, we talked. You talk about … In terms of philosophically, or how you're going to try to build the offense … Then with that, the details come in and how you structure the plays and things like that. It's not going to be anything that's going to be, 'Oh, we have Odell [Beckham Jr.]; now we're going to run this play.' It's how you fit all the pieces together within the concept. So, we've got the concepts that are good for Lamar, are good for our offensive line, are good for our [running] backs, good for our tight ends and good for this receiving room that we're building as best we can. And then you place guys – even day to day, week to week – in those spots. 'What route is he going to be running today? How are we going to try to open him up against this defense or the coverage that we think they're going to play? What's the best matchup that we can find?' That's just day-to-day football stuff that you do. When you have a player like this, it makes it more fun; it gives you more options. And of course, a quarterback like Lamar [Jackson], that even makes it better. So, that's fun for a coach." 

Where you there at WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s private workout in Arizona, and what were you hoping to see? (Jonas Shaffer) 

DeCosta: "I was not there. We sent a coach, [assistant wide receivers coach] Keith Williams, who [is] a great evaluator. He was excited to go out there for a couple days. We got the video; we have the video; we watched the video probably four times with some of the pro scouting staff, some of the coaches. We just wanted to see – number one – how does he move, body control, all the things we look for in any player, really. How's he catching the ball, how's he adjusting to the ball, just mechanically is he able to drop his weight? [Does he have] burst, quickness, speed, agility, [and] conditioning, as well. Obviously, [it was] a controlled environment, but we saw everything we needed to see, knowing that it's going to just improve. That's the thing – when a guy has a serious injury in general, it only gets better. It may take time; sometimes it takes longer, but it only gets better. What we saw was extremely encouraging, and I can't wait to see the progression from March to April to May to September. That's probably the thing that we're most excited about. We're getting somebody who's ready to explode again, and he's in the right environment with the right quarterback, with the right team, in the right city. It's the perfect player at the perfect time."