Giants co-owner John Mara chats with Mike Francesa at Giants training camp on July 27, 2018.

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John Mara On WFAN: Odell Beckham Jr. Doing All The Right Things

Giants Co-Owner Chats With Francesa

July 27, 2018 - 5:23 pm
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By WFAN.com

EAST RUTHEFORD, N.J. -- John Mara doesn't pretend that Odell Beckham Jr. hasn't had his issues on and off the field at times during his career, but the Giants co-owner says the criticism the star wide receiver receives is unfair in some ways.

"People forget that he's 25. And he came in and he became a star right away, became a celebrity a right away," Mara told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Friday from Giants training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "And there's been some ups and downs for him in dealing with that. But I get a chance to see him here every day, I get a chance to get a good feel for what he's like, and he is a good person. He does a lot of great things that people don't know about in the community, but above all, he competes as hard as anybody in this building, and he's got worlds of talent."

Mara told reporters Thursday that he is preparing to open talks with Beckham's agents on a multiyear contract

"He came in here with the right attitude," Mara said. "We wanted him to show up at training camp, pass the physical, have the right attitude. He's done all that. He was here when he had to be during the spring, and he competed very hard yesterday in practice. And, you know, he's still 25 years old, and he's in great shape, and he just makes our team so much better. So we're excited about having him here this year, and hopefully we'll be able to get that contract done."

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Mara said he never expected a year ago, when the Giants were coming off a playoff season and had Super Bowl expectations, that he would've had to fire general manager Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo. But Mara added, "I do feel good about where we are now, about the people that we have in the building."

The Giants hired ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman, a former Big Blue executive, to replace Reese, and former Browns head coach and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to take over as head coach.

"Obviously, I knew Dave, but there's something about his philosophy in building a team, getting the big people first and having the offensive line and the defensive line," Mara said. "That's something I happen to agree with.

"And Pat Shurmur, with what he did with Minnesota's offense last year and his reputation and everything he said to us in that interview and all the people we talked to about him, I think he was the right fit for us."

NATIONAL ANTHEM DEBATE

Mara said he's eager to find a resolution to the NFL's ongoing national anthem controversy, and he believes his fellow NFL owners are, too.

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"I think the common ground is that we're all tired of dealing with the issue," he said. "We all want to reach a solution that's sensitive to all the different interests involved. I certainly want our players to stand respectfully for the anthem this year, but I also want to be sensitive to the issues that they're trying to raise awareness for.

"I think that there is (a solution), yes. I think that we just need to keep communicating. I think that's the key. I think there's been some hard feelings in the past because maybe we didn't communicate as well as we should have."

Mara added that the owners "have to stop overreacting every time the president issues a tweet and just do what we think is in the best interest of the National Football League."

To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.