FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Brandon Marshall didn't know much about Ryan Fitzpatrick before joining the New York Jets, other than that Fitzpatrick went to Harvard, never takes his wedding ring off and loves to read.
But Marshall cracked that he has found the ideal holiday gift for his quarterback.
"I got him this book for Christmas," Marshall, the Jets' leading receiver, said before grabbing a copy of former New York receiver Keyshawn Johnson's autobiography, "Just Give Me The Damn Ball!"
"Probably could have 100 catches right now."
What Marshall didn't joke about was the idea of seeing the team maintain continuity and chemistry by keeping Fitzpatrick a Jet beyond this season. The Jets have won three straight, with Fitzpatrick throwing nine touchdowns and no interceptions during the winning streak, all while playing with a surgically repaired thumb on his non-throwing hand.
Fitzpatrick will be a free agent, and head coach Todd Bowles said he would like to see him back for another season.
"He's playing well," Bowles said. "Obviously, you do those things after the season. You like the person, you like the player."
Fitzpatrick has passed for 3,129 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season. He was reluctant to address his future, with Saturday's game against the Dallas Cowboys looming, but later acknowledged, "Yeah, I'd love to be back."
Marshall has raved about Fitzpatrick, who didn't even become the starter until Geno Smith suffered a broken jaw early in camp. But it didn't take Fitzpatrick long to develop a chemistry with Marshall and receiver Eric Decker.
Marshall has 89 receptions for 1,187 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Decker has 66 receptions for 875 yards and nine touchdowns.
Marshall says the working chemistry between the trio has been excellent, pointing out that Decker caught a touchdown in last Sunday's win over Tennessee after suggesting a play he and Peyton Manning had executed while in Denver.
"The key is, we are veterans," Marshall said. "I have been playing 10 years, Fitz 11, Deck for six ... and also [Decker played] with one of the best quarterbacks ever in Peyton. ... I think it kind of expedited the process a little bit because we can just talk about it. We don't have to rep it. We don't have to see it on film."
"I think that [quarterback] is the most important position in the league. I wouldn't have said that four or five years ago, but I had the opportunity to be around [former Bears coach Marc] Trestman and see how he works and the terminology he used and how he pushed the quarterback position, it was amazing. Man, those guys deserve to get paid the big bucks. All that stuff will work itself out. Fitz is playing good and we will see what happens."Jets WR Brandon Marshall
Marshall and Fitzpatrick have never made the playoffs. They're intent on changing that here with the Jets, and not only for this season.
"I think that [quarterback] is the most important position in the league," Marshall said when asked about potentially keeping Fitzpatrick past this season. "I wouldn't have said that four or five years ago, but I had the opportunity to be around [former Bears coach Marc] Trestman and see how he works and the terminology he used and how he pushed the quarterback position. It was amazing.
"Man, those guys deserve to get paid the big bucks. All that stuff will work itself out. Fitz is playing good, and we will see what happens."
As for the "Just Give Me The Damn Ball!" book, Marshall later clarified that he actually bought several copies of Johnson's book to give out to his fellow Jets receivers to help dispel the myth of diva wide receivers.
"I was just waiting for the moment," he said. "I got like five of them to hand out to wide receivers and make an Instagram post, something cool. Talking about divas and all of that, I just think it is overrated and sometimes talked about too much.
"I want to write my own piece of the psyche of a No. 1 receiver or prima donnas or what we call divas. So it was just cool to kind of make fun of that, but never got a chance to do it because we had a couple of bad games [earlier in the season]."
Fitzpatrick has certainly done his best to feed and keep his receivers happy. During the Jets' winning streak, he has passed to Marshall 27 times and Decker 20 times.
If Fitzpatrick continues like this, Marshall and Decker might have plenty written about them as the best receiving tandem in football at the end of the season.
Said Marshall: "We will see in three weeks."