Matt Forte is paying no mind to Brandon Marshall’s thoughts on the Jets.
Earlier this month, Marshall — who signed with the Giants this offseason after parting ways with Gang Green — told WFAN he requested his release from his former team because he thought the group “didn’t stand a chance” in 2017.
Marshall was a vocal presence in the Jets locker room last season, but now that he’s outside the building, Forte and his teammates are no longer listening.
“It doesn’t matter,” Forte said of Marshall’s comments Friday, as the Jets reported to training camp at the team facility in Florham Park. “He’s not here. He hasn’t been here the whole offseason or whatever, so he doesn’t know what chance we have or anyone has. So that’s Brandon speaking on Brandon. That’s about all I have to say on that.”
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Forte and Marshall played four seasons together, three in Chicago from 2012-14 and last season in New York.
“I just knew I couldn’t be in that environment,” Marshall said July 13 on the Boomer and Carton show. “I think everyone knows the type of personality I am at this point in my career. I wouldn’t have made it through an entire season knowing that we didn’t have a chance. That’s all you want as a player. You just want a chance.”
The Jets cut Marshall as part of an offseason veteran purge. Linebacker David Harris, center Nick Mangold, cornerback Darrelle Revis, wide receiver Eric Decker and right tackle Breno Giacomini suffered the same fate.
The moves from general manager Mike Maccagnan came after a disappointing and frustrating 5-11 season. Locker room discord mounted along with the losses, and Marshall was at the center of that drama, butting heads with defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson on multiple occasions.
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Forte admitted the team chemistry unraveled in 2016. When asked if players went their own ways as the season turned into an unbridled tailspin, Forte said: “Any season like that, there’s going to be people that do that.”
“And that’s a good thing in a way because it shows who that person is, and you can get rid of him,” Forte continued. “It’s good for the young guys to have experienced something like that because they know once you go through a season like that, you don’t ever want to do that again, and you know that feeling, and you don’t want to have that feeling again. …We don’t harp on last year. We’re looking to move forward.”
Forte has already noticed an improved mood in the locker room through spring practices.
“It’s a lot of young guys, but a lot more tight-knit group where everybody respects everybody as a man but also as an athlete and a competitor,” Forte said. “We’re going out there to compete against each other, but also to make each other better. So I think it’s a different kind of vibe, feel, but in a good way.”
Forte is one of just four players on the Jets roster over 30. The 10-year veteran battled knee problems last year and finished with career-lows in rushing and receiving yards. But Forte reported Friday that he’s in “really good shape” entering this season.
“We have the belief that we can go out here and win games,” Forte said, “and that’s what we’re going to do.”
- new york jets
- matt forte
- brandon marshall
- new york giants
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