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Brandon Marshall declines to elaborate on support for Geno Smith

Brandon Marshall


Jets receiver Brandon Marshall recently said that Geno Smith “did nothing wrong” in connection with the incident that resulted in Smith being punched in the face and having his jaw broken. On Tuesday, he was peppered with follow-up questions by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News -- and Marshall had no interest in elaborating on his views.

“I said what I had to say and, you know what, I’m excited to have another day to work,” Smith said in remarks televised by NFL Network. “But what I say, my word is bond, so . . . as far from my perspective. So if you guys want to ask me any more questions about Geno, it’s not football. I think we’re wasting our time here.”

Mehta then tried to ask another question about the situation.

“I’m ready for some football questions, man,” Marshall said, explaining he was injured for much of December 2014 and is now ready to talk football. “So if you don’t want to ask me any football questions. . . .”

“I’m just ready to play ball,” Marshall said as Mehta tried again. “I’m ready to play ball, buddy.”

Mehta kept going, and Marshall then smiled and talked about using skills he learned during a “three-month outpatient program” in high school, taking a deep breath (but not saying, “Serenity now!”).

It’s likely that Marshall was trying to avoid the topic at the behest of coach Todd Bowles, based on the comments from the head coach during Tuesday’s media availability.

“We’re done talking about it,” Bowles said. “The incident happened. We made statements when we made statements. That’s not going to define who we are or what we do going forward, so we’ve moved on.”

But Mehta isn’t done writing about it, and he emerged from his encounter with Marshall by penning a column characterizing the receiver’s support of Geno Smith as “weak” and noting that Smith still can’t get the “respect” he deserves from teammates. Mehta specifically points to the failure of Marshall to say anything about Smith after practice or the team’s preseason opener, waiting instead for a TV interview to broach the subject.

“I felt that it was an environment where the people who were watching can see my exact words,” Marshall said. “Live television is always good, so you don’t say something and it turns into a distraction for the team. Your words get kind of twisted.”

There was a TV camera in Marshall’s face on Tuesday, and yet he still decided not to talk about it, presumably because he has been told not to talk about it. Presumably because the team realizes that there’s a disagreement within the team regarding whether Smith bears blame for his broken jaw.