WR Brandon Marshall
July 29, 2017
Q: You spent a lot of time FaceTiming with QB Eli Manning over the offseason, do you feel more comfortable having gone through those sessions?
A: Absolutely. You know, thatís the key to being a really good football player, really not thinking. The only way you can get to that level is by having excellent preparation. Really understanding your job, really understanding the offense. Right now, I am further along than I was, obviously, in the spring. Iím not where I need to be, but thatís what training camp is for.
Q: Take us through the first play where you beat out Janoris Jenkins. What was that like?
A: It felt good. You hear a lot of talk about being over 30 and then thereís an extreme drop off. So for me that play was awesome because it was really the first play of training camp because itís the first time going against the defense. Being the new guy, you want to prove yourself. Secondly, I want to prove to myself that I can still do it. So, making a play that could possibly be, maybe not the top 10 plays, but possibly the top 20 felt good. I was like, okay I can still do this.
Q: Talk about the secondary, specifically Landon Collins, and what youíve seen from them so far.
A: Obviously, Iíve been on ďInside the NFLĒ the last three years, so we get a change to watch guys from across the league. You donít really get the opportunity when you donít have a gig like that. I remember being in production meetings and watching him micíd up and the way he led stood out to me. To be honest, Iíd never heard of him before last year and the thing that stood out was who is this guy, one. Two, I really havenít seen anyone lead that way since Brian Dawkins. For him to be so young I thought it was even more impressive. Heís a stud. You donít get better than that at that position.
Q: Whatís the challenge coming into this year after having such big years in the past?
A: What Iíve learned is you win in the offseason. Itís all about preparation and how you carry yourself in the offseason. Your approach to the gym, your approach to the track, your approach to studying film, and he wanted that. He wanted that every single day, you know. When he was here, he was one of the hardest working guys in the building. Then he went down back home to Louisiana and worked extremely hard with his guys down there. I think he worked out with Ryan Clark. So, being able to follow these guys on social media these days you can keep track of them. So, he was one of those guys that, you know, worked extremely hard.
Q: There was one catch that you seemed to beat yourself up about. Talk about what was going through your head during that.
A: Itís timing, it was there. You know, thatís where Eli was supposed to go with the ball and as a receiver, you got to build that chemistry with your quarterback. What I did wasnít wrong if it was a different offense. I throttled in the zone and Eli wants you to run through it. So, it wasnít like I slowed down but I bursted through that first hole and I wouldíve caught the ball. So literally, I was like a foot away from making a big play for the team, but I missed it because of that timing. So now, I got it and I wonít make that mistake again.
Q: So last year, what you did wouldíve been correct?
A: Yeah because Eli, I think heís third in the league with getting the ball out, so as a receiver when you get in and out breaks you got to get your head around. Playing with other guys that had strong arms, you know, thereís some guys that have strong arms and they wait to see if youíre open. Eli, he has a very good arm, and he also has amazing timing. So, thatís the difference. Eli is one of the best at getting the ball out fast, and as a receiver youíve got to get your head around and you got to run.
Q: How long do you think youíll be on the same page and stop thinking so much, like you said?
A: I mean, I canít answer that. It takes plays like that, right? To be really good in the league you canít make the same mistakes twice. Youíve got to be able to coach and be coached up on the fly. I was able to see it and feel it, and I went to the side and talked to Eli about it a little bit, and now I know when I have that route, Iíll hit it in there a little faster.
Q: When you see Odell Beckham Jr. making big plays, do you think ĎWow the defense is going to have watch him so much, thatís good for me?í
A: Yes. Absolutely, thatís why I came here, because of him. Iím tired of getting double coverage and vised in the red zone. Iíll let him freakiní carry all the weight.
Q: Itís only the first couple days of training camp, so itís a little early to tell, but do you think youíre developing a good chemistry and repertoire with Odell and some of your fellow wide receivers?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think weíre in a great place. We still have a lot of work to do. That stuff takes time. We still havenít put a lot of effort into doing things off the field yet because we havenít had the time, but thatís where you really build those relationships to get through the good and the bad times. Weíll get there.
Q: Do some of the younger guys look up to you as a locker room leader? Do they ask you about the NFL experience and about having success in this league?
A: Yeah. It was pretty interesting. A couple of months agoÖ (pause) this might be a little rated R, but walking in the showers, and there was this guy. He was like, ĎMan, Brandon. I remember watching you when I was in middle school!í Like, what? (Laughs) I can tell how old Iím getting, right? I got a teammate who was literally watching me in the NFL when he was in middle school. That kind of shocked me a little bit. I have a lot of experiences, good and bad, that these guys can pull from.
Q: Whatís the best lesson you can impart on these guys?
A: You know what? When youíre younger, you have this sense of entitlement. When youíre younger, you think you have a lot of time. When you get older, you really understand how precious every single day is. Every rep, every practice, every game. I guess for me, itís embracing this moment, this once in a lifetime opportunity. It really is a privilege to be here. Theyíve earned it. The National Football League has been around for a long time, and itís going to be here long after weíre gone. Donít have that sense of entitlement and really understand that it really is a blessing every time we step out on the field.
Q: Youíre trying to learn a new system and a new organization, but guys I assume are coming up to you for advice and for questions. Is that a hard balance to strike?
A: I donít think so. I think thatís just part of the game for everyone, in all sports. Thatís what the locker room is about: holding each other accountable and just leaning on each other.
Q: With Odell here, are you okay with being the number two guy? Is the important thing winning as opposed to getting the most catches?
A: No, itís all important. IĎm not going to sit here and lie to you guys about that. As a receiver, thatís what makes us great, but thatís also what holds us back. You have to be able to check your ego. Itís definitely about winning, but at the same time, guys want to perform as well. Iíve been there, done that. Iíve had 100 catches several times, done some amazing things, went to some Pro Bowls. The only thing that I havenít checked off is being able to earn one of those Lombardi trophies.
Q: When a guy like Odell puts out a video and says he wants to be the highest-paid player in the league, how much is that something that you guys talk about in the locker room, maybe not necessarily him, but with your teammates?
A: I think anything that happens in New York, you get a lot of attention. You sit in the cafeteria and the New York Giants are always on NFL Network and ESPN. Itís one of the things where you have to deal with it. If you want to be a good player in New York, if you want to be a great team in New York, you have to be able to... and Coach McAdoo, he said it twice already in camp. ĎEnjoy it, itís a blessing.í You look out and you see this amazing skyline in New York City, but you canít let that stuff overwhelm you. Odell obviously is the best player in the NFL, and heís going to get a lot of attention on and off the field. As a teammate, you have to be there to support him. You have to be able to deal with that as well because heís not even a superstar, heís a rock star. Itís something that our NFL has never seen before. This guyís a global icon at the age of what, 24 or 25?
Q: Monetarily, do you feel like he should be paid like the best player in the NFL when quarterbacks set that market?
A: YeahÖ You know what? Thatís part of the NFLís negotiations. There are some good negotiators, there are some bad negotiators. Iíve found that it gets sticky when you put your head in another teammateís business. All you can do is support him because, as a player, you understand you only get a few years to really maximize your earnings. But then thereís the team side where you have to understand, you have to do your best for the team. Heís put in the work, and I think Mr. John Mara has already come out and said heís earned a new check. Weíll see what happens.