Eli Manning has come to the defense of under-fire New York Giants teammate, Odell Beckham Jr. According to Manning, both Beckham and Josh Norman were equally guilty during their bust-up in the second quarter of Sunday’s game between Giants and Carolina Panthers.
Beckham has been subject to a lot of criticism following the embarrassing slugfest which led to the 23-year-old wide receiver getting a one-game suspension. “He (Norman) just cried a little bit so I didn’t think that was really necessary,” the Giants quarterback said Monday. “I think both those guys were going at it (indulging in dirty plays). I don’t think either one was in the right, but I didn’t think one was worse than the other,” added Manning.
In fact, Manning credited Beckham for engineering Giants’ comeback, including the fourth-quarter game-tying touchdown. “Obviously (Beckham) had the fourth-and-5 and made a big play on Norman, probably the only time they played man-to-man coverage, Norman-Odell. And he (Beckham) beat him. He responded when we needed him to,” said the Giants quarterback.
Eli Manning: Beckham deserves credit
Of course, Manning’s support doesn’t hold weight since the rest of the football world has been busy tarnishing Beckham’s reputation. According to Manning, Beckham deserves credit for taking the high road and not responding to Norman’s disrespectful comments. “I think Norman came out and made his comments, which I think Odell took the higher road so I am proud of him on that aspect.”
Eli Manning reckoned that the officials must shoulder the blame for not intervening, especially the ugly one-on-one play which saw Norman pick up Beckham and slam him into the ground. “I thought early on he (Beckahm) was being smart. I saw a few plays where Norman body slammed him or is going after him and he (Beckham) didn’t retaliate, he didn’t come back after him or push him or do anything and I thought he was being smart. But if the flags aren’t called early and guys keep doing it, eventually it’s going to lead to something further,” said Manning.
“It’s one of those deals, they were going after each other and, hey, we don’t support that. It’s not what I’d do, but you’ve got to be able to handle it on both sides and pay the consequences,” opined Manning.
Eli Manning concluded that the latest bust-up between Beckham and Norman is sure to make future Giants-Panthers contests intriguing.