EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. questioned the "heart" and the "energy" of his Giants teammates and took a swipe at their low-risk passing attack in yet another sign that his frustrations are on the verge of bubbling over.
The Giants star receiver, in an interview with ESPN that is scheduled to run on Sunday morning, made it clear that his teammates' lack of "heart," "energy" and "passion" is the biggest problem the Giants have faced during their 1-3 start. Sitting down with reporter Josina Anderson -- and alongside rapper Lil' Wayne -- Beckham also put the blame on the Giants' offensive strategy, though it wasn't clear whether it was quarterback Eli Manning or coach Pat Shurmur's game plan that he was singling out.
"How come we can't throw the ball for more than 20 yards?" Beckham asked. "How come we don't attempt or try to throw the ball for more than 20 yards? Those are questions that we have to figure out. But for now I would say it's our heart, it's our energy, it's what we bring when we line up before the game. All of that, it counts."
Those comments are not likely to sit well with a Giants' organization that put its faith in Beckham recently when it made him the NFL's highest-paid receiver with a five-year, $90 million contract that included $65 million guaranteed. At the time, Giants co-owner John Mara and many others in the organization glowed about the maturity the 25-year-old Beckham had been showing.
But how mature was it to sit down with ESPN and say critical things about his team?
That'll be a question for Shurmur when practice is over on Friday afternoon.
Beckham actually had a lot to say when he was asked to name "the biggest heart of the issue" with the Giants. He rambled on about how his teammates don't hang out together before he moved on to their "heart" and their pop-gun offense.
"It's a different place," Beckham said about the Giants' locker room environment. "The energy, it isn't like where I say we come from. It isn't the savage mentality. And it's partly the NFL. It's different than college. When we left practice in college, we'd go and eat. We're going to get some food. We go to chill in the room like we chill together.
"(In the NFL) when everybody leaves, they got a family, they got a wife, they got kids to go home to. I don't have that so I try and built that relationship with my teammates because I want to know: Who am I going to war with every day? When the heat's on, who is this person outside of just being at work and saying 'What's up?'
"So a lot of it has to do with the energy that we have, that we don't bring every single day. And you know me, I'm a passionate, energetic person. I always have to have that. If I don't, it's going to be a problem for me. And just playing with some heart. We just need to play with some heart."
Beckham's complaints about the team's energy level were particularly curious, because he was singing a completely different tune when he spoke to the media in the locker room on Thursday.
"There's definitely still good energy here," Beckham said. "It's not like the energy's bad or we're all nervous or walking on egg shells. I don't feel that way, at least."
It was unclear when Beckham sat for his interview with ESPN, but apparently he does feel that way -- at least a little.
He also is clearly frustrated about the Giants' low-risk offense, which has been a theme in the media all week long. In an interview with the team's website, Shurmur called that a "false narrative." But Beckham, by wondering aloud why the Giants "don't attempt" deep passes, made it clear he believes that narrative is true -- a direct contradiction of the message his head coach was trying to get across.
On the bright side, though, Beckham did find a bright side, despite his obvious frustrations.
"We're only 1-3," he said. "The year we went 11-5 (in 2016) we were 2-3. So you never know when you can go on the run. But it's just a matter of when we're going to go on the run."