Artie Burns Looking Forward To Covering Odell Beckham Jr.


New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is arguably one of the best pass catchers in the league and the former first round draft pick out of LSU will certainly be a good test Sunday for the Steelers young cornerbacks.

It’s yet to be seen if the Steelers will have one of their cornerbacks follow Beckham around on Sunday but should rookie Artie Burns get a chance to go up against the Giants leading wide receiver, he’s looking forward to the challenge

“You can’t run away from the best, right?” Burns said Monday, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “This is why we’re here, for moments like this.”

Burns, who is now starting opposite fellow Steelers cornerback Ross Cockrell, enters Sunday’s game against the Giants having registered 36 total tackles, two interceptions and 9 passes defensed on the season. The Miami product has already gone up against a few of the games top wide receivers so far this season and it will now be interesting to see how he fares against Beckham, who is averaging 14.1 yards per reception on his 65 total catches.

In the Giants Sunday win over the Cleveland Browns, Beckham caught six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. According to Kim Jones of the NFL Network, Beckham was defended by Browns cornerback Joe Haden on 22-of-44 snaps and he finished with nine targets, four catches, 85 yards, and one touchdown on those plays.


“He’s going to make plays,” Burns said Monday of Beckham. “No matter what you try to do, just like with guys like AB [Antonio Brown], he’s going to make plays. You just have to limit them.”

While Beckham enters Sunday’s game at Heinz Field with a very healthy yard per catch average, only 286 of his 914 yards have come after the catch. While it’s clear that Burns isn’t going to completely shut down Beckham on Sunday, holding him way below his yards per reception average will certainly go a long way in helping the Steelers win the game. This should be a fun matchup to watch.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    The real problem is the Giants have good enough second and third receivers (Cruz and Shepard) to give the Steelers fits. Limiting Beckham is important, of course, but pressuring Manning is even more important. Because if this becomes a true shootout…

  • MattHat121

    I appreciate Artie’s attitude about going up against OBJ. That’s a good mind set to have rather than being psyched out.

    However, it’s Tomlin and Butler’s responsibility to scheme NYG offense to limit the damage it can cause through the air. I don’t know if single coverage on OBJ with a rookie (ANY rookie) is the solution.

  • MattHat121

    Best we can hope for is Bud making a difference and maybe some of those Timmons sacks.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Getting at least one turnover (without giving any up) would also go a long way.

  • CodeNameJerk

    At least he has the right attitude. I’d still start OBJ on your fantasy team if you have him.

  • Nwall2

    We need to hit OBJ any time he comes over the middle. Make him want to look up. I think we have enough thumpers to make he weary of getting hit.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Artie, don’t fall for his crap!

  • Mrs Bighead

    I’m not

  • Thomas

    Trial by fire. Hopefully Mitch stays in a position to help Burns and Eli throws some balls Burns can make a play on.

  • cencalsteeler

    This, would be a good time for Mike Mitchell to use some of his antics to get into OBJ’s head and throw him off of his game.

  • srdan

    I’ll take my chances with gay on shephard, a vet on a rook. Cruz never impressed me. So it does kinda come down to Artie on OBJ. All those early training camp stories of Artie asking for AB gotta be a plus for a game like this. I sure hope he learned going against the best.

    I expect OBJ to have his way early in the game. But I’m excited to see 25 on him all game. I think the kids tenacity makes gives him a perfect mindset for playing corner. And like he said, he’ll give up some, but Artie will get his too.

    I’m just excited to have a corner that we look forward to seeing on a top receiver. I guess Ike was that, but it’s been a while.

  • Orlysteel

    Cleveland held the Giants to 13 first downs and under 300 yards of total offense, this game should’nt come down to a shoot out.

  • Steelerfan4lifeinAZ

    What a big challenge for the young rookie. Going against Beckham is going to be a real test. I expect Burns to not back down from OBJ.. on the field antics. Burn has a swagger about him and i like that.. sort of reminds me of Ike Taylor. I’m assuming they will be rolling coverage towards him with Mitchell over top to help but we need to play aggressive and still apply pressure to Eli… so he will have to play on an island and keep the big plays from happening.. GREAT TEST

  • Steelerfan4lifeinAZ

    Your right, applying pressure to Manning should be the number one priority. We know Eli is good for throwing interceptions but we need to get at him quick and often. The other receivers will be irrelevant if we can apply pressure. I’m assuming Butler will have a good game plan with using Shazier and Timmons on Blitz packages along with using Gay

  • steelburg

    Roll coverage to Beckham should be the strategy, that will frustrate him early and get him out of his game. Butler shouldn’t let up with the blitzing Eli is known to throw a few.

  • IndianaCarson

    I agree. If you look at the Giants schedule, they do well at home but not very good on the road–sound familiar? Especially, Manning, Jennings and OBJ have sub par games on the road. No wonder that the oddsmakers have the Steelers as heavy favorites to win.

  • Joey

    Agreed, though i think the Giants’ defense needs to make a stop against us. With the emergence of Green, and Ben back in the swing of things, it is going to be ver difficult. After giving the team a pump up game last 2 weeks against the Browns and then the Colts, I think the defense is ready for this challenge.

  • Gluebucket

    I’m sure Odell Beckham is looking forward to being “covered” by Artie Burns…

  • Abed Medawar

    Forget obj, lbj, and all the other BJ’s it’s steelers versus steelers every week if we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot and play smart, fast, hard football we beat everyone

  • I’m glad he’s looking forward to it. Good luck with that. We must disrupt Manning.

  • Ike Evans

    Odell is licking his chops at this matchup

  • RickM

    Get the popcorn ready. This will clearly be a real test for the secondary. In addition to Beckham’s talent, Victor Cruz while struggling to return to form after injuries has had 1 catch in each of his last 3 games for 37, 48 and 46 yards. He’s a danger as well.

  • ThatGuy

    I’ve been saying Burns is like Ike with better hands.

  • ScullNCrossbones

    Bracket OBJ with Burns and Mitch like teams do to AB. Get OBJ frustrated. Make the other guys beat Gay and Cockrell. Comes down to execution but if we leave burns on an island with OBJ, look for OBJ to make at least a couple splash plays like Dez.

  • Josh Gustad

    I on the other hand am not looking forward to Artie Burns covering Odell Beckham Jr.

  • DoctorNoah

    I do not, in any way, look forward to the matchup between OBJ and Burns. Are we kidding?

  • Rocksolid20

    Careful what you wish for Artie

  • Douglas Andrews

    Saw the same article on ESPN yesterday. Sounded more like the media is making more of story than what Artie said. I like Artie’s mindset stay competitive.

  • Steelers12

    Get in his head Norman style an question his manhood

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    The media continues being the story hungry media that they are. Extra motivation for OBJ.

  • Zarbor

    I can tell you for a fact that single coverage against Dez Bryant was stupid and single coverage against OBJ is every bit as dumb….But that’s what they are going to do regardless. They believe it will make Burns better and they are willing to sacrifice wins for his maturity.

  • Zarbor

    Forget throwing him off his game game, how about lighting him up like Ty Hilton. To get into someone’s head like Josh Norman does with OBJ, you have to have talent to back it up. Last time I checked, we don’t have anyone on the roster with that talent.

  • Dorian James

    I love Artie’s attitude,and approach to his opponents. The Giants O Line isn’t very good, so maybe that helps him out a bit

  • MattHat121

    I agree but not completely. I think Artie is on a longer leash for his development, and they’re willing to risk big plays (but hoping to see improvement) but not to the point where it clearly costs them games. Fine line, I know.

  • VaDave

    The best way to stop Beckham, is to have an ample supply of kicking nets on his sideline. Something about them just sets him off apparently. As for Artie, he appears to looking forward to covering Beckham just a tad more than I am.

  • Gilgalad

    Man, I like this kid. But the Giants receivers scare me.

  • Bryan Ischo

    Hm, relying on Mitchell to be in the right position, or to close quickly, does not inspire much confidence …

  • Bryan Ischo

    Yeah we should just stop playing other teams altogether and just play Steelers offense vs. Steelers defense for 60 minutes!

    On a related tangent, given that the offenses and defenses never play at the same time, I always thought they should just use two football fields per game and just play one team’s offense vs. the other team’s defense concurrently for 30 minutes. Games would take half as long!

  • Shane Mitchell

    What really irks me is it is not a matchup we have to live with, when Will Gay is standing on the sidelines watching Artie Burns get beat for possibly 2 or 3 TD passes.

  • RickM

    For sure their receivers are scary, but even with them they’re still 21st in the league averaging only 21 points a game. They are really getting killed offensively by having the second-worst rushing offense in the league. Teams are pretty much just keying on their receivers, something the Steelers will no doubt do.

  • AndyR34

    I’m not so confident in Butler’s game-planning against good teams. I do hope to be wrong though.