Odell Beckham Jr. was one of the players who shined most in last Sunday's satisfying win over the Dallas Cowboys.
His three touchdowns, including a clutch, 50-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter that sealed the win, was one of his best performances ever in a Browns uniform. This week at ClevelandBrowns.com, we're catching up with Beckham to discuss that game, Cleveland's early-season success and more.
CB.com: What's the vibe been like in practice this week heading into another big Week 5 game against the Colts?
Beckham: I think we're just excited about the opportunity. This is the most important game we've had this season, like coach (Kevin Stefanski) always says, because it's the next one. Knowing what we have at stake and knowing that we do have a great football team, it's about executing and finding a way to put all the pieces together. We just want to win, no matter how that looks.
CB.com: How different of a matchup is this between what you faced last week in Dallas knowing how good the Colts have been on defense?
Beckham: I think one of the funniest things that I've found is one of my favorite movies, Any Given Sunday. It just means so much because it really is like that. I've watched some of the 0-12 teams or terrible teams with bad records go and beat some of the best teams on any Sunday. What it really is about is being the most prepared, knowing your opponent and knowing you're going against one of the best defenses in the league. It's just about finding ways to attack it, finding ways to execute and finding ways to win, but one of my favorite things Jamal Murray said when they were talking about how they have to face the Lakers was how he said, 'Yeah, they have to face us, too.' That's the approach you have to have. No matter who we're going against, they have to go against us as well. I think it's going to be a great football game. We're going to come out fired up, and they're going to come out fired up.
CB.com: What was it like last week to reach the end zone for the first time as a rusher? Is it something that's just been a long time coming for you?
Beckham: It just was the timing of it. I think we were up 38-14 starting the fourth quarter, and I've been in games where you've been up but everyone has that feeling that the game is over, and then the other team just comes back and wins the game. When he called the reverse, knowing that we needed a spark, I was going to get a first-down regardless or slide or stay in-bounds as the rookie (Harrison Bryant) told me to do. Kareem (Hunt) also told me we only needed five yards. I felt there was an opportunity there, and I saw it open up. I had four or five lead blockers, and I just turned the jets on to put the game away so we can get on to this week and be 3-1. Those moments are special because I know people look to me for that energy. When we need a play, I feel that in my soul that that's what I'm supposed to do — make that play. It was great that it happened during the time that it did. I can't believe that's my only rushing touchdown. I thought I might've scored one before, but I guess not.
CB.com: NextGen Stats had that as one of your fastest speeds you've had on the field in years. Is that something you felt in the moment?
Beckham: Definitely. During the fourth quarter, I didn't really run much. I think they said it was 20.6 miles per hour, but for me, who knows. All I know is that whoever is chasing me, I feel like I'm going to outrun them just because of will. However fast they're running, I'm going to be running just a little faster. That's always going to be my goal. I knew when I hit the burst, I wasn't going to get caught. I tried to do my best Tyreek Hill impression without getting flagged for it. I feel healthy. That's the main thing. I've worked very hard this offseason to be in this position, so I'm just thankful for God that I have these opportunities to run.
CB.com: How is this running game opening up opportunities in the passing game?
Beckham: It's the same way it would do in the opposite. Either one can open up the other. If you're not going to stop the run in this game, then the game is going to be controlled completely, so teams have to find a way to stop the run. When they do that, I think coach Kevin and (Alex Van Pelt) and Baker (Mayfield) know those opportunities we have and how to make the most of them.
CB.com: How key are you and Jarvis Landry in ensuring teams can't just stack the box to stop the run?
Beckham: I think it's been that way all my career, or at least after my rookie year. There was no stacking the box. I remember even the first year that (New York Giants RB) Saquon Barkley was in the league, and everyone always played this two-high shell, and then Saquon goes for 2,000 yards. Last year, I remember I texted Nick Chubb after that last game and said, 'I promise you, you're going to get it.' And he didn't end up getting it — the rushing title. That's the goal. Those things means a lot. I know it means a lot to the offensive line, and I know it means a lot to Chubb. Then you have the two-headed horsemen with Hunt back there, who's a 1,000 yard rusher. It's just very tough. We have a lot of skill over here. It's just about finding ways to get all the pieces moving in the most efficient way to win.
CB.com: What will it mean to you to play in front of 12,000 fans, which is double the amount from the last time you were at home?
Beckham: It's pretty cool. I remember reading about how we might not have any fans and that it won't be the same. For me, it was almost peaceful. It's just a peaceful feeling and you get to play ball, but it still has the same excitement of football. It will be cool to have a few extra people there, and we need to get a win for them.