Odell Beckham Jr has only played one game for the Rams and important hot balls are underway. One particularly cynical one came from former Cowboys defender Troy Aikman.
Appearing on The Ticket 96.7 in Dallas on Tuesday morning, Aikman blamed Beckham for some of Matthew Stafford’s tackles, including the first time he was intercepted, and suggested Stafford felt “pressured” ” when forced to give the ball to Beckham.
Here are his comments, like transcribed by Mark Lane of Texans Wire.
Matthew Stafford made an early intercept as he was trying to get the ball down the OBJ goal. Whether he stops on the route or not, he won’t complete that pass. There are two defenders there.
But I think Matthew feels some pressure now that maybe Baker Mayfield feels, hey, we have to get this guy involved, or he’s in the game right now because he’s going to follow. This road is deep and I have to find a way to get this ball in his hand because that’s why he’s playing on this play. It’s not good, and midfield isn’t good when you feel pressured to give the ball to a particular player. It just doesn’t work. So I don’t know. Maybe they can pull themselves out of it and make it go on. But it was a beat last night.
There’s no denying that the Rams were beaten to the 49ers, but Aikman is reading too much into Beckham’s debut and his chemistry with Stafford.
The gameplay Aikman references is not a good game from either player. Beckham may have run the wrong way. Stafford certainly shouldn’t have thrown the ball into the double guard.
That said, Stafford had more than four full seconds to sweep the field in that game. He passed the ball to Beckham because in all likelihood he didn’t see anyone else open. It seemed that Stafford wasn’t consciously focused on Beckham and only Beckham in that game; apparently he looked at his check, Darrell Henderson, twice. Henderson was covered.
Stafford had to make a decision. He went deep into Beckham and it didn’t pay off.
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Stafford may have forced that throw, but the point is he didn’t specifically force Beckham on that play or for the rest of the game. Stafford took aim at Beckham three times in the receiver’s 15 shots. That hardly forces him on the ball, especially when you’re breaking targets he sees other than intercepting.
Beckham’s first goal came in the first play of the game. He ran for a quick five-yard run, stopped, and Stafford got the ball for him. He was open-minded in the play.
At the end goal, Beckham beat Josh Norman on his way back. He quickly turned around and separated from Norman for a second capture of the day.
That was the last time Beckham saw the ball. He was not targeted after the early stages of the second quarter and spent most of the second half on the sidelines. Overall, he played only 27% of the team’s attacks.
This is not the situation Beckham faces the Browns. He and Baker Mayfield never shot in three years. Beckham and Stafford were assigned only one game to sync.
It should also be noted that Stafford managed to navigate that game without his No. 2 receiver, Robert Woods, who tore his ACL in practice Friday. So maybe he’s trying to forge an early relationship with Beckham so Beckham can help replace Woods’ production.
In addition, Beckham may only have to act in this match because of Woods’ injury. After all, he was with the Rams just days before their “Monday Night Football” game.
Either way, it’s too early to say that Stafford faces pressure to win the ball for Beckham. They were just getting to know each other and were trying to quickly build some chemistry.
The Rams will say goodbye in Week 11, so Beckham can focus on getting in sync with Stafford before the team’s next game. If there is a problem at that point, then perhaps we can start to worry.
But doing so after Beckham played 15 seconds four days after joining the Rams is premature.
https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/troy-aikman-odell-beckham-jr-matthew-stafford-rams/1lc3ced7qvqgm1k30raois4whd | Troy Aikman ridiculously firing on Matthew Stafford, Odell Beckham Jr. after the debut of WR’s Rams