FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Former Jet and current Giant Brandon Marshall said he asked for his release because he couldn’t make it through this season knowing the Jets don’t have a chance. To which Matt Forte replied: Who says we don’t have a chance?
“It doesn’t matter” what Marshall said, Forte said Friday on the first day of Jets training camp. “He’s not here. He hasn’t been here this whole offseason or whatever, so he doesn’t know what chance we have or anyone has. That’s Brandon speaking on Brandon, so that’s about all I have to say on that.”
Earlier this month, Marshall all but said that 1 Jets Drive would be an unwelcome destination for a player with any drive of his own. “Some guys, they’re OK with just throwing on a jersey and collecting a check,” he said in a radio interview. “I just couldn’t be in that environment.”
But Forte, echoing many of his teammates Friday, insisted it isn’t as bleak as all that. He implied that team chemistry benefited from the offseason purge.
“It’s a lot of young guys but a lot more of a tight-knit group where everyone respects everybody as a man but also as an athlete and a competitor,” he said. “It’s a different kind of vibe, feel, but in a good way.”
Winters is coming
With the release of longtime center Nick Mangold, Brian Winters — who signed a four-year extension during the offseason — said he looks forward to taking on an expanded mentorship role with the offensive line. “This is obviously the team that drafted me and I wanted to stay around,” said Winters, 26. “I’m trying to build something here, and they were the guys that took a chance on me. They were the guys that felt that I could be something for this organization. And the leadership role that I feel that I had is getting bigger and bigger each year.”
Seven weeks after undergoing a knee scope, Ben Ijalana said he will be “a little limited” when practices officially begin Saturday. He said the procedure was successful and that he expects to battle for the job at left tackle.