Is force feeding OBJ the answer?

Rich Gannon said it on the Browns telecast and, as it so often happens, it became the battle cry of the Cleveland media and its fans.  "Get the ball to Odell Beckham, damn it!"

Odell Beckham Jr. making a business decision in the first half against the Patriots. In his post game interview, OBJ said "Whatever opportunities I had I made the most of them. You can only control what you can control."

There is a ton of frustration with how this season has progressed to date, but do we really want Baker locking on to OBJ and trying to force the ball to him when he's not open?

Last season, Baker's success came when he was spreading the ball around to the open receiver. That is generally what good quarterbacks do.

OBJ is getting targeted 8.4 times a game.  That's tied with his buddy Jarvis Landry for most on the team and 18th most in the NFL.   These two receivers are seeing over 50% of Baker's total targets already.   

Baker really hasn't been rewarded when throwing the ball to OBJ so far.  Beckham has 5 drops, he is third in the entire NFL in "passes not caught" and Baker has a meager 72 passer rating and three interceptions when targeting him.

Freddie Kitchens has said several times in post-game pressers that the receivers need to run their routes at the correct depth.   He's talking about OBJ.   When Beckham stems his routes, it hurts Baker.  He can't throw with anticipation to the spot that OBJ is supposed to be and it causes Baker to hold on to the ball longer than he should.   

The Giants targeted OBJ early and often last season.   Throwing the ball to him over 11 times a game over the first eight games of the season yielded the Giants one win and seven losses.   In those games, the Giants scored 13 points 3 times and 15 points in a fourth game.  They won 4 games of the final 8.  Their largest margin of victory came when Beckham got four targets.  A second of those wins also came when Beckham was targeted fewer than ten times.  A third win came when he did not play at all.

Sure, Beckham got his.   So did Carmello Anthony on a nightly basis playing for the Knicks.   Force feeding Beckham did not light up the scoreboard or produce wins.   Over the course of his career while compiling all those impressive numbers, the Giants were several games under .500 when Beckham played.

Beckham changes the way a defense plays.   It is not a problem to go elsewhere when the coverage dictates, and I hope that Baker is being told as much.

Telling a struggling second-year quarterback who already leads the NFL in interceptions to try jamming the ball in to Beckham more often sounds like a recipe for disaster.     

Here is a novel idea.  Feed the guy who is your best player, Nick Chubb.  Then feed the team's big trade deadline addition -- Kareem Hunt.   Emphasize what your offense has shown you do best and run the football.   That will open up play action, which should make both Baker and Odell more effective in the long run.  More importantly, it will give the Browns the best chance to win football games.  I hope that is what it is still about.
Is force feeding OBJ the answer? Is force feeding OBJ the answer? Reviewed by AT Dawgger on 6:03 PM Rating: 5
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