Jets’ Marshall punts ball over bleachers in frustration
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Heads up! Think Brandon Marshall is dangerous with the football in his hands? Better watch out when he starts punting it.
The New York Jets wide receiver booted a ball — that just cleared the bleachers — in frustration at the end of what coach Todd Bowles called a “sluggish” practice Tuesday.
“Well, that one didn’t go very far,” a smiling Marshall said. “I almost got sued. It barely went over the stands. I saw a lady go, ‘Ahhh!’ That wasn’t good.”
After running back Dominique Williams dropped a pass, Marshall picked up the ball and kicked it, sending it hurtling toward some campers and parents.
“It was pretty good,” coach Todd Bowles joked. “If we need a second punter, we might just bring him back there and pooch one.”
All kidding aside, it was a quick display of emotion from Marshall, capping a very uneven practice for both the offense and defense.
“Sometimes you need that,” he said, “to show people that it’s not acceptable to come out there and practice like that.”
Tuesday’s session marked the fifth practice of training camp for the Jets.
“It’s competition period and guys are going to express frustration in a certain way,” the coach said. “You’re in camp, you’re going to get frustrated one day. It wasn’t a big deal at all. We’re going to line up tomorrow and play again.”
Bowles added that showing that type of emotion is fine — as long as it’s in practice and not a game.
“That’s a penalty, so we know we can’t do it,” he said. “Emotion is one thing, as long as you tailor it the right way.”
Marshall acknowledged that a few plays before his punt, he tried to slam his helmet down.
“I couldn’t get my helmet off,” he said. “I was kind of embarrassed. It got stuck. That was good, though. When you throw the helmet, kick the ball, it’s probably a little too much in one day.”
In 2009, Marshall threw a well-publicized practice tantrum that got him suspended a week while with Denver, when he also punted a football, walked while the rest of the team ran during warmups and swatted away a few passes thrown to him.
He was looking for a new deal and demanded a trade during that time. This was nothing close to that situation, in comparison. It is also nothing new to any of his Jets teammates.
“It’s almost my staple,” Marshall said, grinning. “Yeah, I do that maybe every five or six weeks.”
When a reporter asked if he meant every five or six years, Marshall reiterated that it’s not an uncommon occurrence.
“During the season, you guys are here for the opening of practice, but then you go inside and do what you guys do,” he said. “And, I’m out here kicking balls.”
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who re-signed with the Jets last week, agreed with the overall sentiment that the team practiced poorly.
“It’s just important for us to remember that we can’t waste any days,” he said.
“We did some good things today, but we did more bad than good today. We’ve got to be able to learn from it and we’ve got to continue to be trending upward and getting better each practice.”
There are high expectations this season for an offense that ranked 10th overall last season and set a franchise record with 5,925 total yards. Fitzpatrick set the team mark with 31 touchdown passes, while Marshall broke Jets records with 109 catches and 1,502 yards receiving.
The addition of running back Matt Forte is expected to further improve the Jets’ ability to move the ball down the field. Marshall said Forte, who is working his way back from a sore hamstring, will make things “easier” for New York’s offense.
Despite it being early in camp, the players are still striving for perfection.
“Every time we step on the field, especially in the competitive spirit, we want to win,” Marshall said. “We started off pretty good in the move-the-ball period and we actually scored, and then we came back the next two periods and it wasn’t where we want it to be, but that’s part of camp.”
Marshall credited Fitzpatrick with calming him down and the rest of the offense after practice.
“He was just telling us that this was still a successful day, when you look at the way we communicated and all of the learning lessons,” Marshall said.
“He said there were a few things where we didn’t connect on, but should have. But being able to sit down and watch film and work through those things is really vital to the growth of our offense.”
NOTES: DL Sheldon Richardson returned to the team after missing the first four practices for personal reasons. ... CB Darrelle Revis (wrist) participated in team drills for the first time in camp, taking part in one session. “We don’t want to do too much with him,” Bowles said. “We just want to get his feet wet and get him used to moving around there again.” ... TE Zach Sudfeld sat out with a sore knee, while RB Bernard Pierce has a sore hamstring.
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