Brandon Marshall remains firmly in Geno Smith's corner.
The Jets wide receiver defended his quarterback Monday during a Fox TV interview, saying Smith "did nothing wrong" before Ikemefuna Enemkpali sucker-punched him in the locker room a week ago.
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"I was sitting right there, and I would say this without going into too many details because we've already moved past it: Geno Smith did nothing wrong. He did nothing wrong," Marshall said on air, according to the New York Daily News.
"That's all I'm going to say about that because we have to move forward and I don't want to be a distraction to our team, but Geno Smith did everything the right way.''
Marshall is the only Jet to give an on-the-record account of the assault. He had remained tight-lipped about the incident during group interviews with the Jets' media corps.
The altercation stemmed from Smith's unpaid debt of $600 in travel expenses to Enemkpali's football camp last month in his hometown of Pflugerville, Texas. Jets coach Todd Bowles used the words "sucker-punch" and "cold-cocked" to describe the incident shortly after it happened. But cornerback Darrelle Revis made it clear that he thought both players were in the wrong.
"I hold both of them responsible," Revis said. "Just how it all played out at the end, you gather all the information, but at the same time, you have to move forward."
Marshall clearly sees things differently. When news of the incident broke, he took to Twitter to express his feelings using one character -- a sad-face emoji. After his appearance on Fox, he continued to defend Smith during an ESPN radio interview later in the morning.
"Did he point his finger in [Enemkpali's face]?'' Marshall said. "No, he didn't."
Enemkpali was released immediately and claimed off waivers the next day by Rex Ryan and the Bills. Enemkpali told Buffalo reporters that several Jets players have reached out and showed their support since the incident.
Breno Giacomini and Eric Decker recently made statements backing Smith. Marshall told Fox that Smith's age and inexperience might be the reason some other teammates didn't rush to his defense.
"Because he's young; he's 24," said Marshall, 31, who was Smith's roommate during the offseason. "It hasn't been his team. He's been in and out of the lineup the last couple years. There's been a lot of question marks.
"But I don't care about the past. I care about what he's done this offseason and OTAs and in camp and leading up to that day. To me, he's been a leader. He's getting better at it. It wasn't his team. He had to earn that and he still has to continue to earn that.
"People think it's a distraction. It is . . . It was shocking. I'm very disappointed. I feel bad for the kid, because he was doing really good. But we have to move forward if we want to win. Geno knows that."