Brandon Marshall switched locker rooms, in the same building, to get with a winning organization. Four years after being drafted by the Denver Broncos, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins, who used him for two seasons before trading him to the Chicago Bears, who got three years out of him and sent him to the New York Jets. This year, he has signed with the New York Giants — actually the first time he has switched teams as a free agent.
The immediate comparison when Brandon Marshall signed with the New York Giants was Plaxico Burress. Whether fair or otherwise, Marshall is the most established big-body receiver whom Eli Manning has played with since Burress helped him win Super Bowl XLII.
What Affect Will Brandon Marshall Have On Odell Beckham Jr?
It goes without saying that for the first time in Marshall’s illustrious career (other than his rookie year), he won’t be the No. 1 option on his offense. In his first season with each team, Marshall received 170, 146, 192, and 173 targets, respectively. Those numbers aren’t just high, but historically high, other than the Miami season, which was simply a ton.
There isn’t much chance Marshall sees opportunities like that in New York. Beckham hasn’t even cracked the 170-target mark, a number Marshall has gone over four times in his career — twice by the time he was Beckham’s age. (Beckham would have been on pace for 173 targets had he played all 16 games in his rookie year).
Sterling Shepard was second on the team in targets with 105 in 2016, which would be a career low for Marshall if we continue to discount his rookie year. Shepard is still on the team, and likely would have expected his own opportunities to grow in his second season as a pro.
Brandon Marshall Making Good With Coach McAdoo
According to Marshall, Ben McAdoo is an innovator in the world of combining football with advancements in technology. The Giants are ahead of the curve when it comes to the evolving ways to prepare a football team and Marshall has never played for a head coach quite like McAdoo despite playing on four teams before this season.
“Our league is a lot of times stuck in its ways, the tradition. They’re doing the same things from 40 or 50 years ago, running the same plays, the same terminology, same teaching message,” Marshall told ESPN’s Jordan Raanan on Saturday during a Receiver Factory Sports Camp. “When you have younger coaches or coaches who are innovators like Coach Mac, they are more receptive to doing things like that.”
Marshall is excited about all of the Giants’ new methods for training and preparing under McAdoo, but he is most excited about the Giants’ use of GPS. Marshall is still getting used to everything McAdoo is doing, but he’s a fan of the approach that he claims is nothing like what he experience with the other teams he’s played for.
McAdoo revolutionized the Giants training program after taking over for Tom Coughlin. For starters, he changed up the staff and hired Aaron Wellman as his strength and conditioning coach. Wellman’s program stressed more body weight and stretching exercises than more traditional weightlifting methods, in addition to many other new techniques.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan Is Excited With Brandon Marshall
With the major additions of wide receiver Brandon Marshall and hybrid tight end Evan Engram, along with some smaller additions and hoped-for improvements along the offensive line, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan is hoping his group now has those things.
“I think that the personnel groupings are at a point right now where we can have more multiplicity. We were at a high percentage of the Zebra personnel, 11 personnel, with three wide receivers, one tight end and one back, as people call it. With those additional tight ends and with having a couple of fullbacks that we’re taking a look at, just to have those different groupings gives the defense more to prepare for and in terms of trying to do things that will give us that balance that we want, run and pass, we have a few more options when you run all of those different personnel groups and then some of the play-action passes, some of the shots that you take intentionally. But it is exciting with all of the additions we have.”
What Can The New York Giants Gain From The Brandon Marshall Experiment
With the additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram as receiving threats, Ellison as a blocker and the return to health of Shane Vereen, how could they not be. They know they need to be, and even though it’s unfair to expect Ben McAdoo to re-invent the wheel on offense I think a few more sections of that over-sized play card he carries around will actually get some use this season.
Marshall is on his fifth team. Six-time Pro Bowlers don’t end up on five teams by accident. It will be interesting to monitor how Marshall handles a new environment where he is no longer the lead dog and isn’t the focus of the offense, but at least the first few months have gone smoothly. He already has some of the most important figures in the organization semi-sold.