May 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) catches a pass during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets made headlines this off season by upgrading their talent, especially at wide receiver with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall. By most measures, the Jets have had a successful off season thanks to all the solid talent they brought into the mix. After Darrelle Revis, Marshall stands to be the most significant upgrade at any position for Gang Green.
Marshall is a tremendous play-maker and brings a skill-set the Jets haven’t seen for quite a while. Leading a revamped receiving corps, Jets fans are expecting a much improved season through the air. It’s still too early to make any solid predictions with training camp still just under two weeks away, but Marshall’s experience and ability raises expectations across the Jets’ offense.
Here are the top five things to expect from Marshall this upcoming season.
Next: 5. Off-the-field maturity
Jan 31, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall on the red carpet prior to the NFL Honors award ceremony at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
5. Off-the-field maturity
Marshall has a history of domestic trouble. While the National Football League continues to grapple with how to deal with several players with domestic issues, Marshall is leading the road to redemption.
From inspiring Instagram posts to his commitment to mental health through Project 375, Marshall seems to be dedicating his off-the-field time to a lifestyle of charity and goodwill. This bodes well for him to stick to football and making a difference in communities all across the world.
Many are quick to dismiss these actions as calculated public relations moves, but the talented wide receiver has crafted a sincere character building initiative for himself to place distance between his life today and a troubled past. With the all the troubles with players across the NFL, this is a positive sign for Marshall, the Jets and their fans.
Next: 4. Strong comeback from 2014
Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) makes a catch during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
4. Strong comeback from 2014
Last season, for the first time since 2006, Marshall did not have a 1,000+ yard campaign. In his final season with the Chicago Bears, Marshall battled injuries including a sprained ankle, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He missed three games due to his nagging injuries. So far through practices and mini-camp, Marshall seems back to full health and is making promising progress in the early stages of his time in New York.
Before the 2014 season, Marshall started every game for the Bears in 2012 and 2013. He has proven to be a durable receiver and the Jets hope to see that version of Marshall through the 2015 season. We’ll get a better picture of what to expect in terms of health and potential production once training camp and the preseason get under way.
If the Jets are able to get the most out of Marshall, he will surely be the catalyst they need to turn into a successful offense. Marshall’s abilities to make big plays in the clutch could be the difference maker the Jets need to really push the envelope this upcoming season.
Next: 3. Chemistry with Geno Smith
Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws the ball prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
3. Chemistry with Geno Smith
“He’s a quarterback’s best friend.” This quote directly from Smith recently made rounds via the Jets website. You can’t ask for higher praise; chemistry between the two players is evident.
Marshall and Smith moved in together in New Jersey this summer and have been building a true relationship amongst teammates. Trust between a quarterback and his top receiver is an invaluable asset to a football team. Everyone invested in the Jets should expect this to continue developing throughout the season.
Although there is history of Marshall calling out his former quarterback in Chicago, Jay Cutler, it seems that kind of honest criticism will remain in the locker room and might even be well received by Smith as he looks to improve in his third season.
Next: 2. Improving the receiving corps
Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets players huddle during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens won 19-3. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
2. Improving the receiving corps
Marshall’s acquisition not only gives the Jets his individual talent and production, he allows the entire receiving corps to fall into their natural positions and roles. Eric Decker no longer has to shoulder the weight of being a No. 1 receiver and can return to his more comfortable role as No. 2 in which he excelled as a Denver Bronco.
While Jeremy Kerley‘s role is a bit uncertain given the presence of Marshall and Decker, he remains the best slot receiver on the Jets and should excel in that role. Rookie Devin Smith, a potential deep threat, can learn from the three veterans in front of him and ease his way into the professional stage.
Tight ends Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland, who may or may not be in competition for the starting job based on Chan Gailey’s offense, stand to also benefit from the much improved offense as the new offensive coordinator implements his offensive schemes. Gailey breaks things down so everyone can thrive in a simple yet effective offensive system.
Next: 1. Flat out production
May 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) makes a one handed catch during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
1. Flat out production
Seven consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons (2007-2013).
Five 100 reception seasons.
Three 10+ touchdown seasons.
Five Pro Bowls.
The man can flat out ball. He’s “The Beast” for a reason. Built like a defensive back at the wide receiver position with the talent to match his physicality, Marshall is poised to have a great season with the Jets if everything falls into place.
He is 27 catches and 229 yards from surpassing 800 receptions and 10,000 yards for his career. We may see that happen in the first quarter of the season which would mean that the Jets’ offense will be putting up some nice numbers.
Marshall is healthy, set to enjoy a competitive receiving corps and can be the tool necessary to get Smith to the level of quarterback the Jets need to compete. Look for Marshall to contribute significantly in his first season with the Jets and be the X-Factor they need to be competitive again.