FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Brandon Marshall was looking for a way to spice up the Jets' offseason training activities. Trash talk seemed like a good way to do that.
So, last Thursday, the veteran receiver took to social media to stir the pot, putting up photos of cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis on Instagram and boasting he intended to torch them in the Jets' 11-on-11 "competitive periods."
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"Good luck today sir @acromartie1 on touchdown Thursday,'' he said on Cromartie's picture. Captioning a photo of a smiling Revis, Marshall wrote, "It's all smiles now. See you in the Red Zone at 11 a.m."
Cromartie, for one, appreciated the thought.
"It just makes things fun," he said Wednesday. "And when you're looking forward to going to practice, it makes things a lot easier."
"You know, the thing I like most about what we're doing is 'competitive periods,'" Marshall said. "A lot of coaches nowadays are going to [offensive starters against defensive starters] and that's all great, so you can get great work. But the way Coach [Todd] Bowles implemented our competition period, it's basically like, 'Hey, if you lose, there's some consequences.' So it's really created a great environment for everyone to compete and get better. It feels like a game, almost. And that's hard to accomplish in OTAs in an offseason."
When the offense goes against the defense in a two-minute drill, the losing unit has to run sprints, and so there is incentive for the players to try hard to win their battles. According to Bowles, the defense has dominated, until Wednesday.
"I thought [Wednesday] was the first time we had true competition," Bowles said. "The defense has been winning quite a few days, and the offense came back and they hit back today and they made some plays. The defense ended up winning, squeaking it out at the end, but it's good competition."
And competition, the players said, will help everyone get better.
"Obviously, we have some great guys on defense and they've had a lot of success as a unit," Marshall said. "And to go against Darrelle Revis and [Sheldon] Richardson and [Calvin] Pace every day is good for all of us."