Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said he has a new outlook on the game of football after he missed most of last season with a fractured ankle.
"I'm just in a different place," Beckham said after he recorded 11 catches for 111 yards in Sunday's 20-15 loss to the Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. "Once you see everything flash before you, and you don't know if you ae going to be the same person again, you don't know if football is going to be the same again, I got a different perspective."
Beckham, the star Giants receiver who signed a $95 million contract extension prior to the season to become the highest-paid wide receiver in the league, repeated how he spent night after night praying to get back onto the field for a game for the first time since Week 5 last year.
That he did.
Though he didn't score any touchdowns or make any electrifying catches like he has shown he could make in the past, his 111 receiving yards were the 10th-most among all players entering Sunday night.
And it wasn't lost on him that he was going up against a strong Jaguars secondary, notably Jalen Ramsey, for most of the game.
"He's a competitor, I'm a competitor, I love the way he plays, I love everything about his game," Beckham said. "It was fun to go out there and compete against, if not the, one of the best in the league, hands down."
Beckham hasn't won a game with the Giants since Week 17 in 2016, as New York started last season 0-5 en route to a 3-13 finish. But while he said he remains a hungry competitor -- "I hate losing more than anything," he said -- his fresh perspective made him appreciate the game more.
"Just being out there and competing with the best, I wish we would have gotten a win, but at the same time it's a good starting point for our team," Beckham said.
For starters, he said he was impressed with rookie running back Saquon Barkley, who ran for a 68-yard touchdown in his NFL debut. He thought the Giants were close on a couple of key plays that could have turned field goal drives into touchdowns. Overall, he said Sunday's loss, while not the result he desired, was "a good place to start.
"This time," he said, "there is so much positive to take from it. This is a brand-new team. It's a great starting point for us. We have something to build off of. We are going to walk out of here with our heads up wishing we would have got the W. It is what it is, any given Sunday, any team can win."