New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall stated Tuesday the team's struggles early in the 2016 campaign led to "a feeling of shock," and his response to the problems, which led to some issues within the locker room, became a learning experience.
Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press passed along comments the 32-year-old wideout made about the season during Tuesday's edition of Inside the NFL on Showtime. He didn't hold back when asked to sum up the entire year after the Jets finished out of the playoffs with a 5-11 record.
"The best way I can describe it is, having a diaper on and never changing it," Marshall said. "And just sitting in that diaper the whole year. That's how our year was. It was a bad year."
Marshall admitted his emotions probably got the best of him at times as the team staggered to a 1-5 start, including a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. That's when a fracture started to develop between him and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.
The outspoken receiver stated on Inside the NFL that he learned it's best to avoid direct confrontation immediately following a defeat:
This year, for me, it was my delivery and timing. And my timing was bad at times. Meaning that, after a loss, that is not always the best time to address some tough issues. Sometimes you have to wait until Monday morning or Tuesday morning to have those types of conversations. So, I learned my lessons, some things blew up on my face. I'll take that. I'll chalk it up.
And I will be a better person next year.
He went on to say there's "no ill will toward Sheldon. That's my teammate. I think he is a hell of a player," according to the AP.
Marshall's comments come after Richardson spoke out about the lingering tension following the team's season-ending victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com provided the defender's assessment of the situation, which cornerback Darrelle Revis called a "dark cloud" over the team.
"I wouldn't say a dark cloud," Richardson said. "A cat's true colors came out. That's pretty much that."
Both players are under contract for the 2017 season. Richardson is scheduled to make just over $8 million, while Marshall is slated to receive $7.5 million, per Spotrac. But Cimini noted there's a chance neither one returns, as the Jets could trade the defensive end and release the wide receiver.
Although Marshall attempted to take the high road with his comments, trying to get the players to coexist for another year would be a risk. And the Jets can't afford to take many chances as they attempt to end a six-year playoff drought in 2017.