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Beckham Jr. couldn't see himself reaching potential with Giants but expects to 'explode in games' for Browns

Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Football

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has insisted he believes that landing with the Browns this offseason will be one of the best things to ever happen to him.

He continued to hammer home the point during a recent interview with Complex.com while fulfilling his duties as an ambassador for the NFL Academy in London. Beckham also took a jab at his former team, the New York Giants, who traded the superstar to the Browns in March.

"I just felt with the Giants I was just stuck at a place that wasn't working for me anymore," Beckham told the website. "I felt like I wasn't going to be able to reach my full potential there; mentally, physically, spiritually, everything I felt capable of doing, I just couldn't see it happening there.

"So I think allowing me to be in an environment where I can be myself and give it a different approach, I feel like my football will benefit. I'm just excited about being able to play football again and not have to deal with all the other stuff and politics that came with my previous role."

Beckham won the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2014 with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. His encore in 2015 was his best statistical season: 96 receptions for 1,450 yards and 13 TDs. He had a third consecutive Pro Bowl season in 2016 with 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 TDs.

He was slowed by injuries the past two seasons. A fractured ankle limited him to four games in 2017, the only season he didn't gain 1,000 receiving yards, and he finished with 25 catches for 302 yards and three TDs. He caught 77 passes for 1,052 yards and six TDs last season before sitting out the final four games with a bruised quadriceps.

Now he envisions himself reaching new heights with the Browns.

"I'm trying to achieve growth," Beckham, 26, said. "I want to release myself from my past and have a fresh start. I've been waiting to explode in games, and I've been working extremely hard to get take my game to the next level. That's exactly what I think I can do at the Browns."

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Having close friend Jarvis Landry in the Browns' receiving corps should help Beckham adjust to his new surroundings. He alluded to how giddy the former Louisiana State University teammates are about their reunion.

"I'm very excited by the culture at the Browns," Beckham said. "It's been building over the years, and they've got players over there who I just know I'm gonna click with.

"Jarvis is a brother of mine, and we dreamed of this moment. It's just crazy that it's actually happening. The percentage of people that make it to the NFL is less than 1 percent, so the chances of me playing with one of my brothers on the same team is a dream manifested, for sure."

If Beckham reaches his full potential in Cleveland, the pairing will be a dream come true for the Browns, too.

(c)2019 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com

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