Jets WR Brandon Marshall has confidence in QB Geno Smith if he's the starter this season, writes Darryl Slater of NJ.com
"A hundred percent confident in Geno," Marshall said, according to Slater. "I think he's grown so much from the first conversation I had with him, before I got traded [from Chicago last offseason], and also since [early] last year when we were roommates."
"He's an ultimate pro right now," Marshall continued. "I don't know if that's always been the answer [about him]. But I'm just so proud of the kid, because the areas where he's been challenged, he's grown and gotten better."
In addition to Smith, the Jets have Bryce Petty and the recently drafted Christian Hackenberg on the roster.
The team also remains interested in re-signing free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Marshall did the right thing by sticking by the team and his (current) starting QB. There is absolutely nothing to gain by Marshall saying something inflammatory. He's stumped for his guy (Fitzpatick) and his guy hasn't come to terms with the Jets -- at least not yet.
Marshall showed the same support last year when Geno was the presumptive starter. Sure, Fitzpatrick's surprise 2015 season changed the perception of the situation, but it hasn't changed how Marshall will carry it in front of the New York media.
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This could be seen a bad sign, since Marshall saying this now could mean he sees Fitzpatrick's return as less likely than he did a few weeks or months ago. When Marshall made similar comments last year, I was suspicious as to how genuine that sentiment was because it almost seemed like he was trying to dupe Smith into believing he was good enough.
Clearly, by the end of the season, Marshall had come to the conclusion that Fitzpatrick was the right man for the job, so perhaps the timing of these comments should be seen as troubling. Of course, that's assuming he wasn't simply blindsided by a "how confident would you be in Geno if he ended up as the starter?" question. If that was the case, what else was he going to say?