Inside the NFL  


Odell Beckham's antics surprise scout, but not players


The following item is excerpted from the Week 16 edition of Albert Breer's exclusive Inside the NFL Notebook:

I'll never forget seeing Odell Beckham Jr. at LSU's pro day in the spring of 2014. He was dazzling on the field, for sure. But off it, you got an even more vivid image to take with you: The star speeding through the parking lot of the Tigers' facility in a flashy, tricked-out sports car, despite the fact that you couldn't go five feet without bumping into a scout or a GM from an NFL team. And that's very much Beckham. Talented and flashy and flamboyant and embracing every part of being a star with a blonde mohawk and sleeves of tattoos.

"Absolutely," said one AFC scout who wrote him up in college. " 'Metrosexual' was the term I heard thrown around quite a bit."

So in the NFL, it's pretty easy to figure what path players are gonna use to try to get in his head: The same one most guys would use when messing with a friend who's meticulous about his appearance, the way Beckham is. That's not to say it's right, but it's one piece of this. The next piece, then, is when the player himself shows cracks, that you can get to him. And that much has been apparent in some games, but not all of them. The Bills, for example, saw Beckham come unglued on tape in a preseason game, and tested him in that regard in October. Describing Beckham's reaction, one Buffalo player said, "It was bad. He was taking swings at guys and generally being a b----." A player on an NFC East rival said he isn't surprised by Beckham's antics, either, and that his club saw them on film, too.

On the other hand, just before the Carolina game, the Dolphins had no complaints about Beckham's behavior, which those in Miami thought was because a) close friend Jarvis Landry was on the other team and b) Brent Grimes (who covered Beckham) is quiet on the field.

At any rate, there's no question Beckham will deal with opponents baiting him from here on out, the same way schoolkids might mess with the hothead in class, which is interesting because that didn't seem to be Beckham's rep before this year. At LSU, the aforementioned AFC scout said, there was "nothing like this. Nothing malicious about him. No anger problems. No behavioral issues. From what I knew about him as a college player, this sort of stuff is uncharacteristic." And that makes you wonder if Beckham's meteoric rise into mainstream stardom led to this perfect storm -- throw an edgy, angry-playing corner like Josh Norman into that mix, too -- that exploded last Sunday at the Meadowlands.

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer.



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