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Pat Shurmur is optimistic after sit-down with Odell Beckham Jr.


Giants coach Pat Shurmur recapped his sit-down meeting with WR Odell Beckham Jr. :

ORLANDO – On Sunday, it was team president John Mara. Yesterday, it was chairman Steve Tisch. Today, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was questioned by the media about Odell Beckham, Jr.

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Shurmur met with Beckham last week in Los Angeles, where the coach attended the pro days of quarterback prospects Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, and where Beckham spends much of his offseason. Although prohibited by NFL rules from discussing football, Shurmur was pleased with the conversation, which he said lasted more than 30 minutes.

"We just got an opportunity to sit down and talk," Shurmur said in an hour-long sitdown with reporters here at the NFL annual meeting. "I had a chance to share my thoughts on all topics Odell, other than football certainly, and it was a good visit. He showed me his favorite restaurants in town and we just got a chance to get to know one another. He's a very charismatic guy, I think he really cares and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Moments later, Shurmur added, "I was out there and it would be no different - the way this thing got set up, it would be no different if Odell was in New York and he came by the office. Since I was already out there, I reached out to him. We all understand this time of year you can't talk football, but there was a good meeting and I felt like I got to know him a little better. Again, the only way you get to know somebody is by visiting with them, and I got a good sense or a little better sense of who he is."

The Giants' offseason conditioning program begins on April 9. A year ago, Beckham was a no-show for everything but the mandatory minicamp in June. But Shurmur expects him to participate this year.

"It's my understanding that he will be there," Shurmur said. "We couldn't talk about that, but I'm looking forward to seeing him when we get going. It's a crazy rule, isn't it?"

In his first three seasons, Beckham was the NFL's most exciting player, a nationwide sensation…and a Pro Bowler. But last year he played just four games and missed the last 11 after fracturing his ankle on Oct. 8 and subsequently undergoing surgery.  

Asked where Beckham is physically, Shurmur said, "I think he is on track coming back from his injury. All reports are he will be ready to go at some point here in the training. … Ready to go as we get going, so there are steps he's got to take, but all indications are he will be back healthy by the time we start playing in September."

Beckham, of course, is a mercurial personality who has had incidents on and off the field that have drawn widespread criticism. But Shurmur is confident he will have a good relationship with the ultra-popular Beckham.

"I've got a good radar on people," Shurmur said. "I've got a good radar on what's going on this morning here. I think that's why it's important as coaches and players and anybody that is working together that you get a chance to visit and get to know one another. I really don't think you can know somebody by just seeing reports, reading reports, hearing what people think and say. I think it's really important, especially in the player-coach relationship, that I get to know him."

There's no question that Shurmur wants to maximize the talents of Beckham, one of the league's most formidable offensive players.

"I think we always want weapons," Shurmur said. "Obviously, he's been an outstanding player, especially the first three years. So certainly, we want really, really good players. We want guys that are passionate about playing the game, we want guys that understand the importance of relationships, which means they want to be coached, and we want guys that understand that it is important to be a good teammate. Those are the things that we are looking for in a player."

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