After catching 11 passes and being targeted 15 times in his first game since breaking an ankle 11 months ago Emmitt Smith Jersey , New York Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. was admittedly sore.
The NFL's highest-paid receiver was also happy about his game, optimistic about the future, and even a little impish in dealing with his nearby locker room buddy, Saquon Barkley.
For a night, the 25-year-old Beckham walked off with the ball the No. 2 overall draft pick carried on his first NFL touchdown, a 68-yard run against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 20-15 loss.
When asked about the ball Thursday, Beckham kept the joke going.
"No, that's at my house. It's gone already," he quipped as the Giants continued preparations for a Sunday night game in Dallas. "No, I gave it back to him. It's funny how just being in the locker room, it's like your brother and you're joking around with him. Next thing you know, it's across the entire world. It really was nothing more than me just messing around with my boys. I gave him his ball back."
Beckham grinned after finishing the sentence Reggie White Jersey , another sign the 25-year-old is enjoying a second chance to play the game he loves after a serious injury to his left ankle.
Barkley confirmed he has the ball.
"There was no way I was not getting that ball back," Barkley said.
Looking back on Sunday, Beckham said there were some things that could have been better: The precision and depth of his routes, particularly one post route where he was a little off and Eli Manning could not connect with him in the end zone.
It was a first-game thing.
Beckham is excited about the new offense that features Barkley in the backfield and has tight end Evan Engram and receiver Sterling Shepard. All are capable of making big plays.
"We're always one play away," Beckham said. "It can be any second of the game. Like you saw him (Barkley) take it 68 yards. That's what he does. A slant, we're going 60. Evan is liable to go at any time. I get on Shep all the time: It's time for you to start taking these slants to the house. It's a one-play-away offense."
Beckham is the focal point of it. He says he will gladly take 15 targets every game and the resulting hits that go along with it.
He also won't mind if the Cowboys interfere with him the way the Jags did. He drew interference calls of 30 and 15 yards late in the second quarter to set up a field goal.
Beckham insisted both plays would have gone for touchdowns had the Jags not used the "Hack-a-Shaq" defense.
For those interested, he does have a special touchdown celebration planned. He also can't wait to win again.
"There's no feeling like winning," said Beckham, whose last win was at the end of the 2016 season. "Just the overall feeling of everybody in the locker room and knowing we did what we had to do. We'll live on this moment for a little bit. Cool, and then get back to work. Everybody here wants to win, and we know the importance of this game. We know you don't want to get 0-2, and start the season off that way http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline. ... mon-jersey , even though it is a long season. You just want to start fast and finish fast, and finish strong, too."
Beckham has already started fast. He just needs his teammates to catch up.
NOTES: CB Janoris Jenkins left the field just before the start of practice because of a family emergency, the team said. Teammates and coaches seemed to be offering support as he returned to the locker room. Jenkins had an interception Sunday. ... Shepard returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday with back spasms. ... LB Olivier Vernon (ankle) did not practice. ... LB Tae Davis (hamstring) and RB Wayne Gallman (knee) were limited. ... Barkley had communications with Cowboys running back and former Big Ten Conference opponent Ezekiel Elliott after Sunday's game. "He texted me saying congratulations on the touchdown run and the start of the season."
Every marriage has its ups and downs. So New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft urged everyone not to read too much into any reported discord in his organization.
Kraft praised Bill Belichick on Monday when asked about some of the unusual decisions the coach made in the Super Bowl loss to Philadelphia.
As for any split among owner, coach and star quarterback, Kraft said he has learned to work with "a strong and powerful coach."
"The so-called tension gets greater when you lose," Kraft added.
And with Brady, Kraft noted that the "feeling of a loss is worse than the feeling of a win" in a Super Bowl, except for that first victory.
"I think Tommy is in that category."
Kraft spoke to media at the NFL owners meetings and was grilled about everything from whether All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski will return for another season (Kraft never really answered, though he said he'd seen Gronkowski at the team facility this offseason) to why cornerback Malcolm Butler, now with the Titans, was benched for the Super Bowl.
Mostly Jeremy Kerley Jersey , the questions were about friction in New England. Kraft said he has met with both Belichick and Brady, something he does regularly.
"I have faith in Bill as coach," Kraft said. "I don't think there's anyone (else) who has the football knowledge and expertise and understands personnel and is able to merge those. As someone privileged to own one of these teams, I encourage him to keep going with his instincts.
"This is not an energy firm where you go from A to B to C to D. I think Bill's structure has been pretty good most of the time and has worked pretty well."
Kraft admitted he was perplexed that Butler, a Super Bowl hero in the 2015 game, didn't play against the Eagles. But he acknowledged he was looking at it from a fan's viewpoint.
"There's no doubt in my mind that if he is doing it for the right reason," Kraft said of Belichick's decision, "I support it. I haven't had one instance where Bill has done any decision that was not in the best interest of the team."
While noting that Brady had an unparalleled season as a 40-year-old quarterback, including his third career MVP award, Kraft also recognized how difficult the final game of the 2017 season was for Brady.
"You don't get public with your feelings two weeks after a Super Bowl loss," he said.
Kraft got emotional when concluding the session by talking about lending the team's airplane to students from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida so they could attend the "March For Our Lives" in Washington on the weekend.
"When they called and asked would you send a plane and help take the wounded kids and their families and kids who couldn't go on a normal plane James Daniels Jersey , we didn't hesitate a minute," Kraft said. "Because think of it, all of you who have kids, think about losing one of your kids. You wake up in the morning and they go to school and don't come home at night.
"I just thought this is a way for our organization to be able to reach out to those people who are hurting bad. I can't think of a worse, unnatural thing of losing your child."
Then Kraft, a donor to the Trump campaign, criticized the legislative process and current environment in the nation's capital.
"I have a big problem with what's going on in Washington and the divisiveness," he said, "and no one's listening to one another and forgetting where you stand on this issue."
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