WR Brandon Marshall
August 15, 2017
Q: Howís it going right now for you?
A: You know what, I feel really comfortable where Iím at right now. Obviously Iím not where I need to be, but where I was in OTAs and spring and summer wasnít a great place as far as feeling like a rookie, new terminology. But it wasnít even that, Iíve been in several offenses, had several quarterbacks, for some reason the way we do things here is really different. Iíve never really been in a no-huddle offense, the tempo is like learning a new language because everything this non-verbal communication. So, that was difficult for me, but we stuck to it and Iím in a really comfortable place now and thereís some things I still have to figure out. Literally 10 seconds ago, Eli walked in the locker room and took me through five minutes of just throwing things at me, seeing where I was. So, he knows where Iím at and where Iím not at. Heís challenging me every second he gets, so weíll be where we need to be come Week One.
Q: How often does he come up to you and test you?
A: Itís Eli Manning time. Itís whenever Ė itís weird.
Q: Is it often or regular?
A: No, itís just real spontaneous. I mean, itís interesting. We may be talking about what type of cereal weíre going to have, and he may just switches the subject to some type of football. So, I really canít answer that. Literally we just got out of the shower, we had towels on, and he was pretty much half-dressed, and he started giving me signals.
Q: Have you been making more big plays that make you and your teammates smile?
A: Yes, but obviously theyíre overlooked because we have 13 on the other side, and he makes SportsCenter Top Five every day. So, you wonít see what Sterling Shepard and Evan are doing and myself. So, we have been making some plays all around, and itís fun because when you have a special talent like that on the other side, it brings the competition level up. So, we even challenge each other in our room. When you have one of the best players ever, he makes everybody on the team great.
Q: You were your own candidate for a top play today, right?
A: Yeah, that was pretty special, that was good. But again, like I told him today when we were running gassers, heís not going to keep it easy. Iím going to push him every chance I get. I want my little moment, too, so I try to make me a little Odell one-hand catch, but it will probably make the top 20, not the top five.
Q: What have you learned about WR Odell Beckham Jr.?
A: Heís a coach; he really cares about his teammates. We had a guy go down that probably only half the guys on the team know his name. We broke down in prayer, he had the prayer yesterday, and he mentioned him by name. A guy that nobody probably realized went down. A guy that may be a practice squad guy or a scout team guy, a guy that may be on the bubble, heís pulling them to the side and coaching them up. He coaches me up. Sometimes I want to say, Ďbro, you know Iím going on 12 years in the league, why are you talking to me about where my eyes and my hands are?í But, the guy knows the game, he cares about his teammates, and really heís a coach out there. He really understands the game and I appreciate him trying to get us all better.
Q: Is the time you spend talking to Eli unique from your past experiences?
A: No, Jay Cutler and I talked a lot because we had the freedom to change things at the line of scrimmage when it was just him and I and it was only a few routes. We had a go, a slant, a comeback, and maybe a different wrinkle depending on who we were playing that week. Fitzpatrick and I, we talked a lot. So, itís kind of similar. But this offense, a lot of it is non-verbal, and with Eli, heís so detailed. Heís probably the most detailed quarterback Iíve been around. He knows what he wants and how he wants it. It took me up until two weeks ago to get this one route down. He threw a ball into the ground and I was two steps off. Literally two steps off, and he pulled me to the side and just kept coaching me and walking me through it. Any other quarterback, it would have been perfect, right? But with this guy, no, itís two steps. So, heís special Ė heís really detailed.
Q: There was a play today where you went in the middle and he threw the ball out, is that one of the plays he was talking to you about?
A: Yeah, so thereís several ways we can get to different routes. I thought he did it on purpose; I think he knew I didnít have that one down. Heís like, Ďyouíve got to know it!í So, I wonít make that mistake again. But thereís certain things that weíve really been connecting on and built some chemistry on, and the DBs know, so, he wanted to switch up our communication so they didnít get a tip. Iíve never seen that one before, I told him, but now Iíve got it.
Q: How many snaps do you think you and QB Eli Manning need to get to where you want to be (chemistry-wise)?
A: Weíre not going to be where he and WR Odell Beckham Jr. are right now. They know each other so well, and it takes time. It could even take years, but I think weíll be in a good position where I can help pull coverage off of Odell and make his job easier. I could make sure the middle (of the field) is a little bigger for WR Sterling Shepard and TE Evan Engram. Weíll be fine. Weíll have some good chemistry this year; I can say that. But I canít put any timetable on it.
Q: What was your reaction to Jets DL Sheldon Richardsonís recent comments?
A: I wasnít surprised, but thereís so much good energy here and the environment is amazing. I donít have time to go back to that. Thatís dead.
Q: When Odell makes a (one-handed) catch like he did yesterday, what is your reaction to that?
A: (Laughing) Itís just amazing. I think before the play, he went to David Tyree and he said, ĎWatch this catch.í And he did it. Itís a really difficult catch. He jumped too early, he was getting pushed, he used his inside hand that was by the defender and he still made the grab. Itís only a catch that he could make. Iíve never seen it before.
Q: You talked about the weapons this team has and being a decoy for Odell. Are you okay with possibly not catching as many balls as Odell, Sterling or anybody else?
A: We donít like to call it decoys. Weíre not decoys. We run a couple of route combinations where we pull coverage for each other, but itís football. Itís a team sport, so there are going to be times where Odell is going to be crushing it and thereís going to be guys on the other side that are just doing their job and may not get a lot of reps or action in the passing game. There are also going to be moments where theyíre doubling him, tripling him (in coverage), and the field is going to be wide open for us. You guys (the media) have to understand that when youíre looking at football, just look at some of the great combinations (of receivers). We say thereís only one ball, but itís enough for everyone. I know Odell said yesterday that itís all about that banner, and it really is. Obviously, guys want to do some things as an individual, but at the end of the day, when youíre winning, you realize that eventually it will swing back your way and youíll be happy. Weíll be fine, and when our egos get out of check, weíll just reel each other back in.
Q: Is that outlook something you had earlier in your career or obtained as you went along?
A: No, Iíve always had that outlook. I played running back my entire life, so when I switched to receiver my freshman year of high school, my uncle pulled me to the side, my uncle Kenny Times, great football guy, had his little stint in the NFL, went to the University of Florida, his kids went to the University of Florida, big football family. He pulled me to the side. It was probably around 7:30 (p.m.), the lights were on, we were playing street football, and he said, ĎLet me teach you something. If you want to play wide receiver, you have to realize that youíre only as great as the guy on the other side of you.í And Iíve always had that mentality. When I played with Javon Walker and it was my second year in the league, and then the third year, I had Eddie Royal. I had 104 catches, Eddie had 91. And then I went on to Miami, and we struggled a little bit down there. Then I went toÖ (pauses to think) Chicago. Iíve been with so many teams I forget. So I went to Chicago and it was myself, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett: 100-something catches, 90-something catches, 80-something catches. And then Eric Decker and I did something special (with the Jets), where ďDeckĒ couldíve had 100 catches if he played the whole year, I had 100 catches and we both had almost 30 touchdowns together. You want a dog on the other side if youíre a number one receiver because if youíre the only guy that can play, theyíre (the defense) are going to double and triple you, and itís going to be hard to get the ball.
Q: Have you developed a relationship with Head Coach Ben McAdoo? You were talking to him off the field today and he said earlier that youíre a great communicator.
A: Itís great. Heís always checking in. Today, it was more of getting on me. This was the first time he was getting on me. He wanted me to be more aggressive to the ball, on the fade, being a little fancy on those a little bit. Itís just walking me through the timing, what Eli sees and how heís processing things. Itís been great to have a coach that is going to hold everyone accountable. He holds Eli accountable, he holds a scout team guy accountable and he holds me accountable. Heís also there for you when you need to talk to him. Itís kind of special, what he has going on here.
Q: Is he talking about the fade that you caught with one hand?
A: That one and the one that I missed on the other side. The timing was off a little bit, and he felt like I shouldíve went up and attacked it, which I should have. He felt like I was playing a little small. He told me to be what youíre supposed to be.