NY Sports Day
Jeff Moeller

Moeller: Time For Beckham To Pass The Torch

Neil Miller/NYSD

With each passing day since it broke Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr.’s future with the Giants continues to waver.

Will he be a leader or will be a distraction?

His ESPN comments would indicate that it is still mainly all about him and his accolades.

He refocused his comments Tuesday afternoon, but you wonder whether he can turn the whole corner if the team loses their next two games.

The last thing this team needed was Beckham’s innuendo about his coach and quarterback.

Beckham already has caused waves with his coach as well with quarterback, who may has telegraphed his displeasure through a comment about Lil’ Wayne, whose presence next to Beckham during the interview is still somewhat puzzling.

Manning is too stoic to get involved with this mess.

But Manning is showing that he is on the back burner of his career, and won’t likely emerge as the leader the team desperately needs. It’s not that Manning hasn’t been a leader, but he continues to look like he is caught in the transition.

It’s time to turn to Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley.

They can be the current and future faces of the franchise.

Last season, Engram began his career as one of the most promising rookies in quite some time. He spoke his mind, and was viewed as hybrid tight end, having the speed and strength to be a force down field.

But his drops became an issue and the bright light began to dim.

With Barkley and Beckham in the fold this year, Engram was envisioned as their clandestine option with the coverage draped around the former two.

 A knee injury has cramped his season, but Engram could be back in the huddle against Philadelphia Thursday or definitely aqainst Atlanta the following Monday.

 It can be perfect timing.

With a relatively slow start against Carolina, Barkley reminded us what he is capable of doing. He has emerged as threat out of the backfield and appears ready for a workman’s load of carries. Barkley tops all rookies with 582 total yards, 308 of them on the ground.

Since he arrived at the Giants’ camp, the 21-year-old Barkley –the youngest player on the team — has shown that he isn’t tentative about stepping into a lead role.

Pat Shurmur could be giving him a nudge to take the gauntlet.

“I spent a few minutes sitting with him on the plane after the game,” said Shurmur about Barkley. “I really think some of your younger players can be your best leaders.  He displays humility, he says the right thing but when he says it. You’ve got a genuine, competitive guy that can do really great things on the football field.”

 Barkley has maintained a blue-collar, lead-by-example approach since he arrived.

“It’s just the way you carry yourself, the way you work,” said Barkley. “Come to work with your head down, try to do anything you can possible to help the team. That stuff goes a long way. Obviously, your play on the field goes a long way too, but try to be one of the first people in here, working your butt off in the weight room, asking questions, try to prepare yourself like a pro, like a vet. Stuff like that is what sits well with your team, and that’s how I try to continue to grow into that role.”

Enough said. It’s time to pass the torch to two guys who can truly carry it.

 


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