Eli Manning isn’t at Ryan Fitzpatrick’s level, not yet at least according to teammate Brandon Marshall. The good news though for the New York Giants and their fans is that Marshall is going to get the chance to catch passes from Manning in a game that matters. And then maybe, just maybe, Marshall will update his rankings on quarterbacks he played with and Manning will get a bump up.
Injured two weeks ago in a preseason game at the Cleveland Browns, Marshall said that his shoulder is feeling better and will be ready to go for the Giants season opener at the Dallas Cowboys in a few days time. His health will be a big step forward for an offense that certainly has the potential to be lethal with his presence in the lineup.
“Yeah. I’ll be out there. I feel good other than that hit I had in Cleveland, the body feels amazing. This is probably the only camp that I’ve had where I really didn’t have anything,” Marshall said on Monday. “So, that’s kind of encouraging being 33 and trying to be aware of where I’m at. My body – I try to keep track and try to be mindful of that so I know how to treat it, but I feel amazing.”
Manning, who Marshall raves about, is far and away the best quarterback Marshall will have played with his during his 12-year NFL career. Marshall has yet to play in the postseason during his dozens years in the league, this despite putting up some of the best receiving numbers of all-time during that stretch.
His chemistry and understanding with Manning after joining the Giants from the New York Jets this offseason will be crucial. If Marshall can fit into the team flawlessly, then the Giants have the chance to have an elite offense and the ceiling is certainly there to make a playoff run.
“I think the number one thing that stands out now after being here a couple of months is Eli being approachable,” Marshall said. “There was a play last week and I was just trying to gauge what I was dealing with. I’ve had a lot of situations like, ‘Wow, this guy is humble and he’s an amazing leader, amazing teammate.’ But, we had a route last week where we hit it, we were in the red zone, we scored and I went to him and I was like, ‘What did you think about it?’ He told me how he felt and he was like, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘I think it was off a little bit. I think we were a second late,’ and he was like, ‘Yeah. I could have done this and this and that,’ and I was like, ‘Wow.’ That was impressive for me to be able to give him that feedback and him receive that. He’s just awesome.”
Labeled a bit of a malcontent in the locker room early in his career, Marshall’s two years with the Jets were relatively quiet. In fact, in 2015 he did form a strong chemistry on and off the field with the aforementioned Fitzpatrick, a journeyman quarterback who, like Marshall, never made it to the playoffs during his NFL career.
Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner who is heading to the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday, easily eclipses Fitzpatrick’s career resume. But with Fitzpatrick at quarterback, Marshall did haul in over 1,000 receiving yards two years ago.
“He has a long way to go to dethrone Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Marshall said. “He has a long way to go, so we’ll see.”