It was a day like many before it for Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry, which means he had to deal with questions about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
.@Browns GM Andrew Berry joined #GMFB this morning to talk about the 2020 Draft, new HC Kevin Stefanski, the 2020 season, OBJ, and more!⬇️— GMFB (@gmfb) April 29, 2020
"Talent is just part of the equation, it really is coming together as a team." pic.twitter.com/rpd2LkKyT1
Berry was a guest on Wednesday’s edition of the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football program and, once again, Berry explained that we will see Beckham in a Browns uniform come the fall (quote via NFL.com):
“With all due respect to the question, I think this is actually a topic, at least from our perspective, there really hasn’t been a ton of ambiguity. We’ve been clear from the beginning that we view Odell as a fantastic player. We’re a better team with him on the field. We see him as a long-term member of the organization. We really like how he’s acclimated and adjusted with the new staff. So the rumors, that’s not something that we can control, but we’re happy to have him as a part of our organization.”
It was not the first time that Berry has dealt with a question about Beckham’s future with the Browns and, sadly, it will probably not be the last time as the idea that Beckham wants out of Cleveland simply will not go away.
The noise started late last season with multiple unsourced reports that Beckham was telling opposing players to “come get me” during games.
It came up again a few weeks ago when Marc Malusis, who is co-host of something called the “Moose and Maggie” program on New York radio station WFAN, claimed that the Browns were having trade talks with the Minnesota Vikings over Beckham. Naturally, there was no name attached to the “source” of the report.
Each time the Browns have shot down the notion they are ready to move on from Beckham, but apparently there is nothing else to talk about in the NFL right now, so the topic keeps coming up.
While the Beckham situation is what everyone will focus on, Berry covered a few more topics during the interview.
When asked how the Browns can avoid a repeat of last season, Berry answered:
“Talent is just a small part of the equation. It is more about coming together as a team. Our guys are really focused on learning the new system, getting their bodies right for the season and understanding the roles and responsibilities on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. If we can focus on the process we will be pleased with the outcome.”
What does Berry like about new head coach Kevin Stefanski?
“It has been great working with Kevin. He is a poised, intelligent leader who has a nice combination of empathy, strength and discipline. He has the perfect makeup to lead us through the season and the inevitable adversity that strikes an NFL team over the course of a season.”
What stood out to Berry about the team’s first to selections in the NFL Draft - offensive tackle Jedrick Wills and safety Grant Delpit?
“Jedrick we thought he had a very well-rounded skill set. He has all the physical characteristics and most importantly the makeup to allow him to transition to the NFL and the left side of the offensive line.
“Grant has the coverage skillset of a modern-day safety. He can play the post, he can play near the line of scrimmage, he can cover tight ends and he can walk over and play our big nickel position over slot receivers. That skillset is hard to find in his physical package.”
With the changes to the roster, what are the expectations for the Browns in 2020?
“We have four more months until we are playing games and six months until the trading deadline, so there are plenty of opportunities to improve the team and for the roster to look different than it does now. We are not focused on making predictions, we are focused on the daily process and doing the things that are within our control that can allow us to have success in the fall. If we can take care of that process, we are optimistic we will be pleased when we look up in December.”
The questions about Beckham will surely continue to come up, and the Browns will continue to point out the reality that Beckham will continue to be a member of the team.
Hopefully some more important talking points will continue to emerge as the Browns move closer to the start of the 2020 regular season.