The relationship between a quarterback and his wide receivers can make or break an offense. That is not to say that this is a prerequisite for successful quarterback play, but history has shown that trust between the trigger man and his ‘go to’ receiver can make a world of difference. Geno Smith will be supported by the leadership and experience of his new target, Brandon Marshall.
Brandon Marshall famously had a zealous relationship, or ‘bromance,’ with Jay Cutler both in Denver and Chicago. When they were both drafted by the Broncos in 2006, the two formed a strong bond immediately. It certainly wasn’t all smooth sailing, but the link forged between the two resulted in many spectacular plays in their six years together. Listening to them speak about each other on Marshall’s ‘A Football Life’, it is clear that there was an understanding between the two men that went much deeper than football. Neither was afraid to call the other out on their mistakes but they also displayed intense loyalty. This devotion was particularly evident in Marshall eventually following Cutler to Chicago (after a year in Miami).
Since his arrival at Florham Park, Marshall has sought to actively develop and publicize a similar relationship with Geno Smith. Marshall and Smith had met each other previously.”We started this weird relationship from the time he (Geno) got drafted,” Marshall said. They hit it off immediately; so a foundation was set by the time the trade was confirmed in March. Their first workout together back in Florida went viral, sparking the interest of New York Jets fans.
The relationship continued to move forward at full speed when Marshall chose not to find a place in New Jersey, but instead moved in with Geno prior to OTAs. Since then, Marshall has continued to publicize their relationship. He continues support the underachieving QB stating, for example: “He has a drive and passion that a lot of people don’t see.”
With all this said, a ‘bromance’ between Geno and Brandon doesn’t ensure a productive relationship on the field. Player relationships aren’t set in stone, even the Cutler-Marshall pairing allegedly soured last year. Marshall’s leadership and support can only aid Geno’s confidence and, in turn, lead to progression. Marshall is a true number one receiver and a respected Pro Bowl veteran. The fact that he seems so keen to boost Geno, who last year had limited options, can only be a positive.
We will have to wait and see whether this off-season relationship will blossom into a successful on field partnership. Let us not forget that Geno is not alone in looking to prove his worth. After returning to full fitness following multiple injuries and a less than successful year in Chicago, Marshall too is looking to revive his Pro Bowl stature.