Marshall praises Bowles - by comparing Jets to 2014 Bears
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Brandon Marshall has experienced division in a losing NFL locker room.
The star wide receiver sees no signs of that with the New York Jets, and he attributes that to one person:
''Todd Bowles,'' Marshall said about his coach.
The criticism of Bowles has been building for a few weeks, and the calls by some fans and media for the 3-9 Jets to fire him have grown increasingly louder after a 41-10 drubbing on Monday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
Marshall thinks that notion is silly, and so are the suggestions that the Jets are becoming a divided team that is in disarray with waning control from the coach. He was on the 2014 Chicago Bears team that went 5-11 and had players sniping at each other, as well as coaches.
''I'm not trying to say anything bad about previous employment, but I've been in a locker room in 2014 in the same exact situation, and it was 100 times worse,'' Marshall said Wednesday. ''The locker room was divided. There was a lot of division. There was a division between players, there was division between players and coaches. We don't have that.
''We've had some tough conversations and we held each other accountable, but we're still together. And that's promising.''
That Bears team, coached by Marc Trestman, was 5-6 before losing its last five games. There was in-fighting, with some blame pointed at Marshall himself. Chicago cleaned house after that season, including firing Trestman and general manager Phil Emery, and trading Marshall to the Jets.
''That was the worst environment and worst year I've ever had,'' Marshall said. ''Ever. Ever.''
But there have been comparisons made to teams like those Bears, especially with the Jets on a four-game skid and looking at an uncertain future.
''You can look at it from the outside and say this is a similar situation, but it's not,'' Marshall insisted. ''That whole organization was divided. That's not the case here. We're together. We're having a bad year. Sometimes years like this build teams to be stronger.''
Marshall credits Bowles with unifying the team, refusing to allow outside chatter seep into the locker room and causing rifts between the players.
''That's why we're still together, is because he's real,'' Marshall said of Bowles. ''He tells it like it is and he's a man of his word.''
Marshall referred to Bowles threatening the team with running gassers in practice this summer if they got called for another penalty.
''He's a man's man,'' Marshall said. ''The best way I can describe Coach is he's a mix between Bill Parcells and Lovie Smith. Those are the guys I've been around - Bill Parcells brought me to Miami; Lovie Smith, I had him in Chicago - total opposite ends of the spectrum from the outside, but great guys to play for.''
Marshall was then asked if the Jets feel as though they're playing the final four games to save Bowles job.
''No,'' Marshall said. ''I would hope not. How did that work out for Chicago? Sometimes you blow up stuff and you feel like that's the answer and it's not.''
Marshall insisted NFL teams need time to build chemistry and to put together a winning plan. He also thinks Bowles should undoubtedly remain coach of the Jets beyond this season.
''You guys do remember a couple of years ago, he was probably the most coveted coach out there,'' Marshall asked. ''All of a sudden, he lost it?''
NOTES: The 32-year-old Marshall, in his 11th season, says he wants to play 20 years in the NFL. ... New York had a lengthy list of player who didn't practice: S Antonio Allen (concussion), T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder), C Nick Mangold (ankle), WR Jalin Marshall (concussion), LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle), DT Steve McLendon (hamstring), RB Khiry Robinson (leg), LB Julian Stanford (ankle), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) and DE Leonard Williams (illness).
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