The Giants are confident they can rebound from a 1-5 start, and co-owner John Mara offered some — ahem — encouragement this morning.
Mara spoke with Judy Battista of the NFL Network, and offered the usual concern about the record, an appropriate level of defense for Eli Manning, but something a little sharper for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
“I think he needs to do a little more playing and a little less talking.”
Mara said he didn’t talk to Beckham after his ill-received ESPN interview, saying that enough other people had. But he indicted a strong preference for actions over words.
He used the words “embarrassed” and “disappointing” in reference to the 1-5 start, adding “I’m sick about it.”
But he offered some comfort for Manning, insisting that he knows his veteran quarterback is the “punching bag” but not solely to blame. He also said he’d leave it to the coaches to decide if a quarterback change is needed.
“When you’re 1-5, it generally means everybody has to play better,” Mara said. “It’s not just him.”
He also defended coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Dave Gettleman, for drafting running back Saquon Barkley instead any of the non-Baker Mayfield quarterbacks they could have had with the second overall pick.
“We went with the best player in the draft,” he said. “I still believe he was the best player in the draft.”
While a lot of that is predictable stuff from the owner of a team which has won four of its last 18 games, the reaction from Beckham will be the one worth monitoring, as the Giants went to great financial lengths to keep him happy this offseason, and he doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself now.