Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall need to consider dropping the rhetoric and focus on each’s respective squads, the New York Jets and Giants.
The snipping back and forth between Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte needs to stop now, as it going any further will help neither the Giants nor the Jets. The term snipping is important because this isn’t a feud yet, but, nonetheless, it needs to stop before it truly evolves.
This started when Brandon Marshall essentially said that the Jets have no chance this year (not an unfair assessment), and that’s why he wanted out. At this point in his career, he wants a shot at making the playoffs — the “tournament,” as many now dub it.
Matt Forte responded saying that Marshall isn’t there anymore (true statement) and that he should focus on his team. He was defending his teammates, which is absolutely okay for a player to do.
Forte and Marshall do have some history. After Marshall was traded from the Bears to the Jets, he claimed he was the only one on the team to hold Jay Cutler accountable. Forte was rather unhappy, and ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson reported that Forte said Marshall didn’t even hold himself accountable.
The two had been friends before that, but Marshall was hurt after Forte said that, telling NJ.com’s Darryl Slater that he and Forte stopped talking for two and half months. However, they buried the hatchet (or so they claimed), and it didn’t stop Forte from joining Marshall with the Jets before last season.
— New York Giants (@Giants) July 29, 2017
So there is some history between the two, which can make it more tempting to keep talking to the press. But that helps neither team.
The Jets have an extremely young team and are looking to build towards the future. While it can be easy for players to get distracted, it’s especially important that Forte stay focused on the games this year.
Young players often learn from the actions of veterans. If Forte comes in, prepares and focuses on the games ahead of him, that will rub off on the players. But if Forte is spouting off in the media about how his former teammate should keep his mouth shut, he looks distracted. That will also rub off on the younger players.
Forte needs to help the Jets by showing the young players how to go about their business and focus on games, especially when the going gets tough as it’s likely to this year. Forte needs to step up and be a veteran leader.
Brandon Marshall also has far better things to worry about than talking about his old team’s chances of making the playoffs. He’s trying to make his first playoff appearance, and part of the reason he was signed was to help Odell Beckham Jr. learn how to keep himself out of the media, or at least how to limit distractions. If this blows up into a feud with Forte, that doesn’t help with that.
Marshall has a great opportunity to make the playoffs this season, and that’s where his focus needs to be. He joined a team that made the playoffs last year and has arguably improved in several key areas, specifically tight end. Marshall has an important role to fill as the red zone target, and as a player to help take double teams away from OBJ.
Marshall absolutely can not be focused on the Jets and how they’re going to do, or what Forte thinks about what he said. He needs to not respond to what Forte said and keep this from becoming a big deal. Both players have far better things to do than to talk about each other.
It’s time to focus on their roles within their teams. Not on what the other one is saying.