NEW YORK -- Brandon Marshall brings a wealth of experience to the New York Jets -- nine seasons, three teams. He's been around long enough to know poor chemistry can undermine an offense, and he points to last season's Chicago Bears as an example of how not to play offense. He plans to share those hard lessons with his new teammates.
"Talent only takes you so far," Marshall said Tuesday at the NASDAQ Market building in Times Square, where he participated in a panel discussion on youth sports. "I learned a lot my past couple of years, especially last year in Chicago.
"You look at Martellus Bennett, Alshon Jeffery, myself, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, (Jermon) Bushrod, Kyle Long, Roberto Garza, Jordan Mills. You can't dream of an offense like that, but we were one of the worst offenses out there. Why? Because we had a tough time coming together.
"I think we all learned from that," he continued. "I especially learned from that. I want to take all of that ... and bring that here. I'm only going to play a couple of more years. I'm not not going to be one of those guys where you have to rip the jersey off my back. I have other things I want to do. Before I leave, I want to be a winner. I will be a winner. I want to do that right here. I'm never going to play for another team."
A few thoughts.
Marshall sounded sincere, although some in the Bears' organization probably will roll their eyes when they read this. Some believe he contributed to the chemistry problems for the Bears, who finished 5-11 with the 23rd-ranked offense and got their coach and general manager fired.
Everyone is entitled to a fresh start, so we'll cut him some slack. This is Marshall's third fresh start (traded three times), so some folks might be skeptical. Let's see how it plays out. There's no doubt he wants to win. The man has played nine years and has yet to reach the playoffs. No player in history has more receptions without a postseason appearance than Marshall, 31, who reiterated what he recently tweeted -- the Jets will be his last stop.
The veteran wide receiver was cautiously optimistic about the Jets' prospects. He said they have "super talent," but he stressed the importance of chemistry and smart play.
"If we do that, we’ll bridge the gap with all the other successful offenses out there," he said. "Right now, we have to make a huge jump in this camp to get where we need to be if we want to compete."
The Jets report Wednesday to training camp. The first practice is Thursday.
Marshall could be the key to Geno Smith's season. Their on-field rapport will be vital to the team's chances, but Marshall downplayed his role.
"It’s on Geno," he said. "It’s on him to take advantage of the opportunity of having [Eric] Decker, [Jeremy] Kerley, the offensive line, the Four Horsemen at the running-back position. It’s on him, No. 1. It’s on us, too. It's not just a one-man show. We have to be able to support him, we have to be able to support each other.
"If we can get that down -- and we've been on the right track this offseason -- we can crush it. The football stuff is easy. He can throw the ball, I can run routes and catch, but how are we going to act when we hit adversity?"