It’s not often that an NFL player calls out an ex-teammate.
Earlier this week, New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson did just that when he told reporters that this year’s locker room “is a whole lot easier to get along with now” compared to last season.
Richardson continued, “Let’s just say there are 15 reasons why it’s better.” This was an obvious shot at former Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who wore No. 15.
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When hearing what his ex-teammate said, the outspoken wideout responded with a great deal of maturity.
"I'm human, so like I said, the first couple years of my career, more than the first couple years, really the first five years, I wasn't responsible with the platform that we have,” Marshall admitted.
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"Nah. I'm not a perfect guy, but I worked extremely hard to get in the position I am today," he said. "The first couple years of my career was rough, and a lot of it I did myself. I hurt myself. And since that point, once I figured things out, I've worked extremely hard to be a better person and work extremely hard to be a better teammate, a better father, a better husband, and I'm proud of where I'm at today.”
Therefore, he believes that he’s turned around his life and doesn’t foresee any issues with the New York Giants, where he signed a free agent deal in the offseason. “I wake up every single day trying to make a positive impact in any room that I step into,” he noted.
As for the feud with Richardson? Marshall seems to be getting tired of it.
"You know what? That is the third or fourth time we're going down that path. Like I said, it was a tough year for us. In the National Football League, it's not unique,” he told reporters. While playing together last season, the two publicly were involved in a war of words that stemmed from a profane Snapshat video posted before a game by Richardson that Marshall took exception to.
However, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan explained that Marshall is already considered to be a leader in the Giants locker room, and he has seemed to move on smoothly:
“Marshall, 33, is now the veteran in the Giants locker room. Coach Ben McAdoo called him a breath of fresh air on Thursday and admired his work ethic. It's possible they could even be looking for him to provide a positive influence on the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. General manager Jerry Reese spoke after the season about Beckham needing to grow up and take a long, hard look in the mirror,” he wrote.
Last season, Marshall recorded 59 receptions for 788 receiving yards with three touchdowns in 15 games. It was just the third time out of 11 NFL seasons that he finished with under 1,000 receiving yards and his 59 catches were his lowest output since his rookie year. His three touchdowns were also his lowest output since 2010 when he was a member of the Miami Dolphins.
Now in what has the potential to be a juggernaut of a passing offense with Eli Manning at the helm and with Beckham Jr. and Shepard at his side, Marshall is a prime candidate to have a major bounce-back season in 2017.
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