Here’s something you don’t often hear a wide receiver say: “I want to be No. 2.”
“It was all about a championship,” the Giants’ newest wide receiver said on The Rich Eisen Show. “I just wanted to be in a championship environment. I wanted to go out the right way. I want to go out a winner. I thought that the No. 1 thing I needed, obviously, was a quarterback. No. 2, a defense. No. 3, a stability in the organization. No. 4, I wanted to be a No. 2 receiver.”
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As Marshall enters his 13th NFL season – first with the Giants – he wants to add the one line missing from his resume: the postseason. Despite playing in 167 games for four different teams, none of those games have come after Week 17.
“I think that one of the most successful formulas out there when it comes to a championship is having an offense that has so many weapons,” Marshall said. “You have a dominant receiver on one side and a dominant receiver on the other side. When you have that, it opens up the running game. It’s easier for the offensive coordinator to see what the defensive coordinators are trying to do. It’s easier for him to call the plays, easier for the quarterback to see the field.
“Odell gets so much coverage. I get so much coverage. Odell, it’s a tossup between him, Julio Jones and you can throw A.J. Green and Antonio Brown there as far who’s the best receiver in the league. So with that, they have to respect that. And I just want to be a security blanket on the side to keep those chains moving. My whole career, I’ve always had the No. 1 corner, teams rolling to me, doubling me, vising me in the red zone. So this is going to be really good for the New York Football Giants.”
Marshall also wants to be really good for the National Football League.
At this week’s annual league meeting in Phoenix, Marshall became the first active player to address the owners. It was a couple years in the making, Marshall said. When he was with the Bears, he used to fly to New York every Tuesday to film “Inside the NFL” for Showtime. Afterwards, he would walk over to the NFL office on Park Avenue in Manhattan and talk with league executives about player issues and how to resolve them.
“What I did is I talked about how I was able to recognize that I was more than a football player, and I walked them through that process and when that transformation happened for me,” Marshall said. “And that was probably in 2011, my second year in Miami, and I walked them through that process, how I was enlightened. And I walked them through in 2013 when I wore lime green cleats (in support of mental health awareness) on the field and the impact I was able to make and how I used the platform. There was a lot of back and forth between myself and the Chicago Bears and the league as far as them allowing me to do that. So for the last few years, we sat down and worked on and talked about how can players be more involved and also how can players use this platform that we’ll never have again.”
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Marshall was referencing the “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign that enabled players around the league to share their causes during all Week 13 games last season.
“You’ve got to look at this: Every single Sunday we play in front of thousands of fans live,” Marshall said. “There’s millions of fans tuning in through the broadcast. We’ll never have this opportunity again.”