Training Camp Story of the Day

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Odell Beckham Jr. healthy, rejuvenated and attacking training camp

Odell Beckham Jr. has been looking forward to the 2020 season since his final minutes in the visiting locker room at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium last December.

The Browns ended their season with a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and silence filled the room as players undressed, packed their bags and headed to the bus for a somber plane ride back to Cleveland.

Beckham, who battled a core muscle injury throughout the entire year, was doing his best to push the struggles of the season out of his head. He wasn't healthy, and he wasn't quite as productive as he hoped when he joined Cleveland in March.

But, as Beckham stood in the silent locker room, he was looking ahead.

"I feel like, in my past life, I tended to dwell on the negative," he said. "Now I'm trying to look at the positives. I'm just letting you know that 2020 is going to be completely different. I don't care who has doubts, or what thoughts or opinions are made about me as a player or person. It's going to be my year."

Now, in his second training camp with the Browns, Beckham has proven that 2020 could prove to be one of his best seasons.

He's healthy and back to the Odell Beckham everyone remembers: an electric, acrobatic receiver capable of producing a highlight reel play on every target. He's already made several of them so far in training camp, and he's shown early how big of a weapon he can be when healthy, hungry and confident.

"I'm definitely feeling a lot better than last year," Beckham said Tuesday in a video call with local reporters. "Really had a great offseason as far as preparation and work. Just thankful to be able to be back out there and practice and do the things that I love. Most importantly, just taking it one day at a time, finding a way to attack and win each day and just be 1-0."

Check out photos from the ninth day of Browns Camp

Beckham has moved on from the disappointment of last season, when he caught 1,035 receiving yards and four touchdowns, a career-low when he's played in 12 or more games in a season.

He still found ways to make game-changing plays — like his Week 2 one-handed catch against the New York Jets or Week 12 deep-ball touchdown against the Miami Dolphins — but his mobility was clearly limited. His downfield ability wasn't quite as strong as seasons past, and his production alongside fellow receiver and best friend Jarvis Landry was good, but not as great as they envisioned before their first season together as NFL teammates.

In 2020, however, they have a fresh start.

"He's continuing to grow," Landry said of Beckham at the beginning of training camp. "He's continuing to grow each and every day, each and every week. That is something that being here and being around the guys over time gives you. You begin to get comfortable. You begin to be where your feet are. I think that he is really making this place home."

Beckham spent the bulk of the Browns' virtual offseason program from his home in Cleveland, and when he arrived for the first team practices of training camp, he was back to making the same graceful grabs that have made him one of the best receivers in the league.

His best catch — and there's plenty to pick from — in training camp so far came last Thursday, when he snatched a deep ball from Baker Mayfield in double coverage. Defenders were draped over both shoulders, but he still managed to jump high enough and bring the ball down.

Those plays are what offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt hopes to see more of when the regular season begins.

"It was a heck of a play by Odell," he said. "We are going to give Odell and those receivers as many chances. That was one of the ones that stands out, but there have been three or four more in practice where we just give those guys a chance to catch the ball, put it in play and give them opportunities to make a play, and Odell is going to do that nine out of 10 times."

In 19 days, Beckham will take the field for his first regular season game since the disappointing result in Cincinnati. And although he put last season behind him, he plans on cashing in on what he said in the locker room after that final game — this season will be different.

"I'm very excited for what we have in front of us," he said. "I'm gearing up. Just trying to do daily deposits and put something in the bank each and every day."

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