Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Bigger Picture: My Thoughts

Odell Beckham Jr posted a video on his Youtube channel called ‘The Bigger Picture’. An hour long chat was hosted by former New York Giant Victor Cruz alongside current NFL players Odell Beckham, Cam Newton and Todd Gurley who all discussed current matters on and off the field.

The first issue Cam Newton, Odell Beckham, Todd Gurley and Victor Cruz discussed in ‘The Bigger Picture’ was the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. What was clear to see was how this Pandemic affects everyone, even athletes.

Odell Beckham was very vocal on the matter in ‘The Bigger Picture’, expressing the issues he had with the NFL, talking about how the NBA has a plan but yet this not being the case with the NFL. He talked about there “Not being a way to play the sport without contact”.

Cam Newton also said how he was a free agent for so long due to the pandemic as he couldn’t go out and visit teams. He also stated how scary it is with people “passing DNA” and the disease being invisible.

Even though English football features far less contact then the likes of Rugby, American Football and Boxing, there is still plenty of contact. The Premier League players have regular testing and the ones that test positive dont play. The NFL could adopt a similar tactic. With all the players training together, you can test all players prior to each gameweek and make sure only those that test negative for the disease can play.

The next topic of discussion on the bigger picture was the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. With all four being black athletes, it was very interesting to hear their views on what has gone on. Todd Gurley talked about the platform him and other black athletes have to get their thoughts across, which i believe can really help the movement.

Cam Newton went on to question the lack of black coaches in the NFL, whether that be head coach, offensive or defensive coordinators. Victor Cruz also talked about how there are a lack of NFL head coaches because there is a lack of opportunity at the coordinator role for black coaches.

Their next topic in ‘The Bigger Picture’ was about how the athletes are preparing for the upcoming season. Todd Gurley talked about how he has never worked out as much as he has this off season and how is growing as a person with his off the field work.

Todd Gurley had and excellent two seasons in 2017 and 2018 with the Los Angles Rams. He recorded back to back 1,000 yard seasons, with 13 touchdowns in 2017 and 17 in 2018.

Since the 2018 season play offs began, Todd Gurley’s injury problems began and he was a limited figure in Super Bowl 53 as the Rams lost 13-3 to New England in Atlanta. Todd Gurley was then traded to the Atlanta Falcons during the 2020 off season after 857 yards in 2019.

For me, Gurley was the league’s best running back when he was healthy at his best in 2017 and 2018 but his injury problems have caused a massive downgrade in his production.

Gurley still managed twelve touchdowns in 2019 but ran for just 857 yards which goes to show his lack of gametime. The 12 touchdowns still goes to show he can be effective so perhaps given more snaps he can go and be back to the running back he once was.

Odell Beckham talked in ‘The Bigger Picture’ about the media persona of him. He talked about how he is often criticised when playing well and how he now wants the opportunities other receivers have and how he wants to be in the position to succeed.

Whilst i can understand where Odell Beckham is coming from in the bigger picture, he didn’t help himself by being issued an arrest warrant by the New Orleans after an incident celebrating LSU’s National Championship win.

Beckham had an excellent start to life in the NFL, winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2014. He recorded 1305 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

Beckham would go on to record 13 touchdowns in 2015 and then 10 in 2016. Despite recording 1000 yard seasons in every season he has played (except his injury hit 2017 season), he has not scored more than 6 touchdowns in a season since 2016.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield is now playing behind an offensive line that has added former Tennessee Titan Jack Conklin in the off season as well as drafting Alabama’s Jedrick Will’s. This is sure to help Odell Beckham get more opportunities to catch the ball.

I have always felt Beckham was slightly overrated but the statistics don’t lie in terms of yardage each season recorded by the Cleveland Browns wide receiver. He just needs the opportunity to get the ball from
Mayfield who also needs to prove the doubters wrong in 2020.

The Bigger Picture is must watch TV

Odell Beckham went on to mention in ‘The Bigger Picture’ how he had to make the adjustment going from a team winning games whilst at college to then coming into the NFL and not winning many games.

This made me think of players such as Joe Burrow. The number one overall pick won the national championship whilst at LSU but is now playing for a team that will not win more than five games in his rookie year.

This is a big adjustment mentally for players coming out of college. It is easy when you are winning so when you join a team that is not winning, you have to get ready for that. This is something Joe Burrow will need to adopt if he is to be a success in the NFL.

The bigger picture then moved on to Victor Cruz asking Cam Newton about his thoughts on his move to New England.

Cam Newton, mentioned players older and players with as many injuries getting new teams before he did. He was honest about not being at his best in the past two years but went on to say he he felt disrespected due to players also not playing well but getting picked up by teams.

Cam also talked about how the Patriots coordinator Josh McDaniels will be able to call plays he’s never played before and how they’ll be getting a “ticked off dog”. It will be interesting to see how Bill Belichick and Newton will get on. Cam Newton is pretty much the polar opposite to Tom Brady, who was the Patriots quarterback for so many years.

Newton, who certainly dominated the conversation at the table in the bigger picture, talked about the end of his time in Carolina. He mentioned how he received a text that they werent going to keep him and only got a call after the decision was made.

This surprised me considering what Cam gave to that franchise. The former MVP who led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 before ultimately losing to the Broncos in San Francisco. Newton was the life and soul of the franchise for so many years and did alot off the field as well as on it. For him to just have a text was a real shame to hear how his time ended with the Panthers.

It is clear to see in the bigger picture that all three players are eager to get back to their old selves. Todd Gurley, Odell Beckham and Cam Newton have all suffered with injuries in the past years and will want to get back to old form. All three are clearly affected by the goings on in the world in both Covid 19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Will we see these three players get back to their best in 2020, and will we see the bigger picture return?

The format of the bigger picture definitely worked well and I could see this becoming a regular each season.

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