Brandon Marshall is only 31, but he insisted Tuesday that he already has an end point planned for his career - and promised that end would come in a green-and-white uniform.
"I'm only going to play a couple more years," the Jets' new receiver said at a midtown Manhattan event to announce a partnership between Dick's Sporting Goods' "Sports Matter" program and DonorsChoose.org to fund youth programs facing budget shortfalls.
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"I'm not going to be one of those guys who you have to rip my jersey off my back," Marshall said. "I have other things I want to do. But before I leave I want to be a winner. I will be a winner, and I want to do that right here. I'm never going to play for another team.
"I want to be successful. I want to see Geno [Smith] successful. I want to see [Eric] Decker successful. I want to see coach [Todd] Bowles successful. I think Jets fans want a winner. They deserve it. And there's a lot of opportunity here and I look forward to taking advantage of what we're going to do on the field."
Asked if he is "anxious" to report to training camp Wednesday, Marshall said he is not. What about "excited?"
"I'm not excited at all," he said. "I'm just appreciative of the opportunity. I think we have a great opportunity. We have everyone we need in the building to get the job done, from ownership to management to our coaches are awesome . . . And our players. I think we've got what we need.
"Now we have to be smart defensively and those guys, if they can bring it together, they can be one of the best defenses out there. Offensively, I think we're young and we need to know our job and if we can do that we'll bridge the gap between all the other successful offenses out there. But right now we have to make a huge jump in this camp to get where we need to be to compete."
Might Smith be ready for a breakout season at quarterback?
"I'm not sure," Marshall said. "It's on Geno. Number one, it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity of having Decker and [Jerome] Kerley and the offensive line and four horsemen in the running back position. It's on him number one and it's also on us, too. It's not just a one man show. We have to support him.
"We have to be able to support each other. It might be Decker's day one day, it may be my day the next or Kerley's the other day. If we can come together and get the mental part down we'll be in every ballgame."
Surely, having an established star of Marshall's caliber will help Smith, won't it?
"What's my caliber?" he said. "I can't, no, all I can do is be part of the supporting cast and do my job. That's all I can do. But there's so much more that goes into being a successful offense, being a successful team. Number one has nothing to do with chemistry on the field. It's being able to love each other and play for 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 around and catch. But how are we going to act when we hit adversity? What are we going to do? We can't be a team that's hanging from the rafters when we win or hang our heads too low if we lose. If we can come together and fight for each other, we'll have a chance."
Smith, Marshall and other Jets did some offseason work together this summer in Chicago.
"I tried to set the tone for us this offseason and do less of the physical stuff and more of the mental stuff, like understanding our playbook, our roles, our jobs," he said. "Understanding that it may be my job one day and not those other guys. Or maybe Deck's day one day and not the other guys.
"Being selfless and selling out for the cause. It was more that. So that was chemistry and also knowing the plays. Simple stuff like getting on a conference call and saying, 'Hey, let's go through five formations, let's go through our personnel, our groupings, because if we can master that, because we're such a young team, we'll bridge the gap.'
"The only thing that's going to hold us back is if Geno calls a play and I go line up the wrong way or if I make the wrong adjustment when they roll the Cover 2 or if Decker doesn't see the safety over the top and breaks off his route. Those are the things we focused on and I think if we can master that we'll be all right.
"We have a super-talented team but it's not about the talent. Talent only takes you so far. I learned a lot my last couple of years, especially my last couple of years in Chicago."
Marshall named some of the Bears' offensive talent and said, "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. I especially learned a lot from that and I want to take all of that, not just last year but everything I've learned throughout my life and especially in my career the last 10 years."
Marshall said he got involved with Tuesday's event because of his commitment to health and wellness, as well as youth sports as a positive force.
"This is right up my alley," he said. "Sports saved my life; my story is well documented . . . I get criticized and talked about a lot for everything I'm doing off the field. But people have to understand where it comes from. I'm so passionate about using this as a platform.
"I'm going to try to be an animal; I'm going to try to a beast on the field because it gives me that platform. It gives me that voice to be able to say, listen, this is how this opportunity saved my life. This is what it's done for me and other people in our community. What they're doing is important and I just can't wait to see it take off."