Brandon Marshall just couldn’t resist.
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles announced Wednesday that Geno Smith will replace Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team’s starting quarterback for its Week 7 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Marshall was among those asked about the change, and the Jets wide receiver used an interesting choice of words while showing support for Smith following the QB’s promotion.
“It’s been amazing to see this guy grow and punch adversity in the face,” Marshall said with a straight face, according to ESPN.com.
Ordinarily, a quote like that wouldn’t be a big deal. But Smith lost his starting quarterback job to Fitzpatrick last season after teammate IK Enemkpali (now an injured member of the Buffalo Bills) punched him in the face during training camp, breaking his jaw and forcing him to the sideline.
Of course, it’s entirely possible Marshall was just poking fun at Smith’s situation. The former second-round pick probably can laugh at the whole thing a little easier now that his jaw is healed and he’s back serving as the Jets’ starting quarterback.
But boy, talk about landing a haymaker.
“When you get crushed, especially in this market, we take it personal,” Marshall said Wednesday, according to NJ.com. “I think that’s why I love, and so many guys love, playing with (Smith) is because he’s competitive. Now he’s doing a great job learning how to control that.
“The thing Geno needed to learn is not anything to do with football. It’s about coming to work every day and being consistent. I think the person who benefited the most from this last year and a half is Geno. It has been amazing to see this guy grow.”
All face-punching jokes aside, the quarterback change represents a crazy turn of events, especially with Fitzpatrick’s contract dispute being such a hot topic this past offseason. Marshall has been one of Fitzpatrick’s biggest supporters, but with New York sitting at 1-5 in large because of its poor quarterback play, the Jets need to make a change to start fighting back.
Thumbnail photo via Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports Images