During the NFL offseason, New York Giants veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall traded in Gang Green for Big Blue after being released by the New York Jets in March. While the two football organizations share an address, the New York football franchises couldn’t be more different. The Jets are in the midst of an arduous rebuild while the Giants are hoping its offseason efforts will payoff in the team winning its third Super Bowl in a decade. Marshall, whose size, athleticism, and veteran leadership is a welcome complement to Odell Beckham Jr.’s explosiveness, hopes the same after completing 11 seasons in the league without a postseason appearance.
All Sports Everything recently had the opportunity to talk with Marshall about his new team, contributing some veteran leadership to a young receiving corps, the New York media, thoughts on fantasy football sleeper picks and more.
All Sports Everything (ASE): Talk about the unique experience of playing for the New York Jets for two seasons, and now playing for the New York Giants?
Brandon Marshall (BM): It’s weird right? It’s like dating one sister and going to another, right? You’re in the same city so you’re seeing some of the same people.
ASE: And they share a house…
BM: Yeah, so it’s a little weird but the fans have been awesome. I think the fans recognize my approach to the game, my approach to the community and they respect me for it. So I think that’s made it easier. It’s softened the blow [for Jets fans]. And the Giants are just a phenomenal organization and one of the best in all of sports, so I’m kind of lucky that I get an opportunity to lineup with those guys for that organization.
ASE: Everyone discusses how tough it is to play in the New York market. As an athlete what’s been your perspective?
BM: It’s extremely tough because it’s so much. It’s nonstop information. It’s nonstop coverage and that’s the thing that makes it tough. All the other things, I think were built to absorb the fan reaction to a losing team. A fan reaction to bad play. As a player, you have to be able to deal with those challenges because you’re never going to be at the top all the time. You’re never going to perform tremendously all the time. So, I think as players, the good ones and the really good organizations, or just the ones who play a long time, they know they’re built for it. And the ones who aren’t, they get weeded out pretty quick. That’s the thing about New York that separates it from any other market, that it’s nonstop information. That it’s nonstop coverage. Some guys and some coaches, they just can’t handle that. But for me, it’s been phenomenal.
ASE: How has your experience working on Showtime helped you adjust to the pressures of living and playing in New York – a major media market?
BM: I’ve learned so much about the media – media relations. As a player, you get stuck in your own world and you just think, ‘Hey, I’m just a football player and they need to respect my boundaries.’ But we need them and they need us. I’ve learned that you have to do the right thing when it comes to media relations because if you don’t, it’s going to make your time harder. So why not embrace it and try to do right by it and build good relationships? Take the good when it comes and the bad when it comes.
ASE: The Giants have a phenomenal receiving corps already established. And with the addition of yourself, it gets that much stronger. You bring some veteran leadership to the team. What do you see as your role and influence on younger players such as Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sterling Shepard?
BM: I’m going on year 12. I have so much experience and I think they can pull from that. In an organic way. As long as they continue to grow and take care of their business, I think we’ll be rolling and I think we’ll have phenomenal chemistry. And again, whenever they want to pull from that experience they will and I think it’ll benefit all of us. And I’ll learn from them as well. Those guys can teach me a thing or two about route running, about how to adjust in and out of my breaks, even my swagger. These guys are young. They take things to a new level with their dress, their attire, their hair.
ASE: Is there anything fun or interesting you’d like Giants fans to know about you?
BM: You know what, everything is kind of out there. I’m an open book. Guys and women know how I approach the game. I think they respect it. I’m just going to continue to take care of business the same way I always have; and I’ll continue to grow. I just want to bring a lot of energy and a lot of passion and hopefully that equals wins.
ASE: This question is for fantasy football players like myself. How high should we draft you this season?
BM: Draft Odell and Sterling and Evan [Engram]. Those guys are the young guys who are just gonna rip it up.
ASE: OK, so you should be a sleeper pick?
BM: Yeah, I’m a sleeper pick. I like being a sleeper pick.
photo via JULIO CORTEZ/AP