Shurmur: OBJ's Mayfield praise isn't a Manning critique

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. recently offered high praise on quarterback Baker Mayfield's arm strength and other attributes.

Beckham said Wednesday that catching passes from Mayfield will require adjustment, adding that the velocity is "completely different" from what he was accustomed to following five seasons with the New York Giants.

The comments raised eyebrows around media circles, of course, and speculation quickly followed that Beckham was taking a shot at his former quarterback, Eli Manning.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, though, doesn't see it that way.

"I would probably think of it less of a criticism of Eli and more of, you know, he's getting comfortable with his team," Shurmur told reporters Thursday, via the Giants' official website. "He's around his teammates. He's around his new community.

"I'm happy for him. He's getting comfortable with his guys. I wouldn't say it's a criticism of Eli. It's more of, hey, he likes who he's playing with."

Whether Manning took Beckham's words as criticism isn't publicly known since the Giants signal-caller didn't address the media Thursday.

But Shurmur's last statement of Beckham embracing his new team could be viewed as an understatement when considering the level of Beckham's compliments of Mayfield. Beckham recently doubled down on his comparison of Mayfield to Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, and the wide receiver also pointed out he appreciates Mayfield's willingness to speak his mind.

In the meantime, the hype surrounding the new-look Browns will only continue to build leading to the regular season. And Beckham will have plenty of opportunities to continue to lavish praise on his new quarterback as the wide receiver moves on from the past.

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