Is OBJ Unhappy in New York? Giants' Head Coach Fires Back at Beckham

The New York Giants came close to a remarkable comeback win on Sunday before losing to a 63-yard field goal but, as so often the case with the G-Men, events off the field overshadowed the game.

At the center of it all, unsurprisingly, was Odell Beckham Jr. The wide receiver threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley and hauled a 33-yard pass touchdown himself to record his first score in 364 days.

However, it was what the wide receiver said before the game that polarized the attention. Asked whether he felt the Giants' struggling offense was holding him back, Beckham Jr. appeared to fire a thinly-veiled barb at Giants head coach Pat Shurmur.

"I feel like, in the past five years, they found a way to play cover two. Keep everything in front of them,'' Beckham told ESPN in an interview that aired Sunday morning.

"How do we beat this? I feel like I'm getting out-schemed. I can take a slant and go 60. All the top receivers get the ball that they should, and if they don't, they say something about it.

"Everything at the moment. It's just everything. It's just everything. Not to say that it isn't going to work. But, right now, I feel like I have to work entirely too hard."

The "out-schemed" line was widely interpreted as a shot at Shurmur, as Beckham Jr. had recorded 31 receptions for just 331 yards in the first four games of the season.

When asked whether Eli Manning was becoming a problem for the Giants at quarterback, the 25-year-old did not exactly rush to defend his teammate.

"I don't know," he said. "I feel like, he's not going to get out of the pocket. We know Eli's not going to run it. Can he still throw it? Yeah. It's cool catching it shallow and trying to take it, but I want to go over the top of somebody. "

Manning threw for 326 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as the Giants lost 33-31 to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, while Beckham Jr. recorded eight receptions for 131 yards and a score.

Down 27-16, the Giants recovered to lead 31-30 with 1:08 remaining in the game and Beckham Jr. felt his comments played a big part in stirring the team.

"I don't regret anything that I said," he told reporters after the game, in a clip the Giants shared on their Twitter account.

"If it took that for us to come together as a team like we did [Sunday]. I can take that every single time."

While his words might have indeed inspired some of his teammates, Shurmur was distinctly unhappy about them. According to FOX Sports, the Giants' head coach was "absolutely livid'' about the comments and forced Beckham Jr. to explain himself to his teammates.

"I addressed it with Odell," the New York Post quoted him as saying after the game.

I addressed it with our team. I publicly declared I didn't agree with his comments. Now, I'm not going to give the public a pound of flesh on this, all right. That would make me small and not strong."

However, while some dismissed Beckham Jr.'s comments as the antics of a diva, figures partly back up his argument.

Sunday's defeat marked the first time the Giants scored 30 points since Week 16 of the 2015 season and since winning Super Bowl XLVI, the G-Men have missed out on the playoffs in five of the next six seasons.

Considering the Giants are now 1-4 and face the defending Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football, the chances of returning to the postseason appear already dead and buried.

At the same time, the timing of Beckham Jr.'s latest outburst was a major surprise, given he signed a five-year extension worth $95 million less than two months ago, which made him the league's highest-paid receiver.

Should the Giants decide that he's not worth the trouble, Beckham Jr. wouldn't be short of offers but, conversely, it's hard to see the franchise ever be in a position when they can really afford to let him go.

In Saquon Barkley the Giants have drafted one of the most exciting talents in the NFL and getting the most out Beckham Jr. would give the Giants another dimension to the Giants' offense.

Whether this will be through a replacement for Manning or via a new offensive strategy remains to be seen.