Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall vowed to get kicked out of the second quarter of Monday night’s game with the Jets, saying yesterday he might punch cornerback Antonio Cromartie and linebacker Bart Scott.
The Jets responded with a shrug. These Jets, it turns out, just want to have fun.
Marshall’s tirade on Thursday afternoon drew national attention as he promised to draw penalties and “play like a maniac.” While the details remain vague – Marshall said it could be anything from throwing the ball “15 yards into the bleachers” or punting the ball – there was clearly intent from the receiver to rile up the Jets and stir the 0-4 Dolphins from their slow start. The effect on the Jets was negligible.
Safety Brodney Pool wasn’t even aware of the comments and Cromartie, who was mentioned in Marshall’s rant, seemed completely unaffected by the threats.
“I really don’t care. I know the kind of guy he is; he’s a front runner. They need to win a game first before they start talking,” Cromartie said. “I’ve known him for a while. It’s all talk, he has to give you all something to talk about. There’s no talk going on down there ‘cause they’re 0-4.”
Last year in the Jets’ Week 3 win at Miami, Marshall dominated the game. He hauled in 16 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown, but was limited to just two catches for 16 yards 11 weeks later. This year, he is once again topping the Miami receiving numbers with 22 catches and 313 yards. Despite his current form, it might be a tough game for Marshall to get yards. The Jets’ pass defense is among the best in the league, giving up just 203 yards per game through the first five games of the season.
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“He had to give you all something to write about. I don’t really care. This is my 11th time facing Brandon; we got a lot of history together,” Cromartie said. “A guy coming out fighting, they better try to win game one, then come out trying to fight.”
Cromartie said he has been friends with Marshall since his senior year of high school and that he doesn’t take the trash talk to seriously. Friends or not, there is a game of football to be played on Monday afternoon.
“It’s all fun and games but when you’re on the field, it’s something totally different. There’s no friends, there’s nothing in between those white lines,” Cromartie said. “I’m definitely looking for it, we’re going to be definitely prepared. I’m definitely going to have fun.”
It didn’t seem to bother head coach Rex Ryan much either, who was more tame in his response than might be imagined. Never one to back down, Ryan didn’t throw down any verbal gauntlets when asked about Marshall’s comments. He seemed at a loss for words in how to best grasp the breadth and depth of Marshall’s words.
“I’m just happy that he’s not picking on me to fight him,” Ryan said. “At least he never called me out. If he wants to get kicked out of the game in the second quarter, I think he should.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.