Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis go at it at Jets practice
FLORHAM PARK – The trash talk escalated over the course of the Jets’ chippy practice on Friday into a near-fight between Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis before Quincy Enunwa literally picked up his fellow wide receiver and carried him away from a physical confrontation.
“Today, it crossed the line, crossed that football line,” a still-upset Marshall said a half hour after practice ended, emphasizing that he and Revis were and are still good friends. “But, again, I can’t let nobody slap me in my face.”
Revis’ thoughts on the intramural dissent remained private as he did not speak to the media.
The Jets’ leading wide receiver and All-Pro cornerback staged a fierce battle from the early one-one-one drills through the team drills.
On a day when the team practiced in full pads, Marshall said the bad feelings started when, in one-on-one drills, he beat Revis for a completion and then made the first-down signal. Marshall said Revis responded by saying, ‘You won’t disrespect me again,’ then gave him a slap to the face at the line of scrimmage on the next play, which Marshall said was “not OK, it’s not OK.”
“Early in one-on-ones, we got really competitive and I beat him two times in a row and then, on the third one, he swung and hit me in the face,” Marshall said. “I just told him, ‘Don’t ever put your hands in my face like that again,’ and he kind of baited me to do it and I did it.
“So it kind of went too far,” Marshall added. “There’s a thin line between football and being a man. That’s what it was.”
The trash talking and bad feelings continued into team drills. Revis successfully defended the first three passes that came Marshall’s way, including one sideline route where the two jostled for position as the football arrived. Marshall cursed at the nearest official for not throwing a flag for defensive pass interference as the two elbowed each other.
Marshall said his one regret of the day was cursing at the official.
He later beat Revis for an 80-yard touchdown from Ryan Fitzpatrick and the two continued sniping at each other. Marshall said his battle with Revis was disrupting practice because every time he came into the huddle, he demanded that Fitzpatrick throw the ball to him, even if Eric Decker or Enunwa was open. Marshall also acknowledged taunting Revis by bringing up DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans receiver who torched Revis in the Jets’ 24-17 loss on Nov. 22, catching five passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns, including a 61-yard score. Revis left that game with a concussion.
“There was some things he was saying, it went off the field a little bit,” Marshall said, declining to specify what Revis was taunting him about.
The emotions finally boiled over along the right sidelines. Marshall screamed at Revis, who began approaching Marshall.
Marshall actually tried to throw “a little shot” at Revis but it did not connect as Jets executive Dave Szott, a former offensive lineman, got in between the two and deflected Marshall’s arm.
Then, Enunwa bear hugged Marshall around his thighs and lifted him up, carrying him away from Revis. The two did not line up against each other for the rest of practice, though coach Todd Bowles said it had been planned to take Revis out as he recovers from a wrist injury.
“That’s like his job, to calm me down,” Marshall said of Enunwa. “He’s so strong.”
Marshall called the incident “over” after practice and added, though he did not speak to Revis after practice, it was not going to linger into a locker-room brawl.
That’s a sensitive subject for the Jets after last season’s incident that injured quarterback Geno Smith.
“It’s like fighting with your brother,” Marshall said. “I’ve gotten into so many fights with my brother but you never want to hurt your brother.”
Bowles, while saying, “we don’t condone swinging,” downplayed the incident as just a function of training camp dragging on and teammates having to go against each other on a daily basis.
“It was chippy today but it’s good,” veteran linebacker David Harris said. “Sometimes in the middle of training camp the energy isn’t as high as it always is. You get guys out there talking and talking smack, practice intensifies, which is a good thing.”