A spirited practice quickly morphed into a battle of egos Friday as Jets receiver Brandon Marshall went toe-to-toe with cornerback Darrelle Revis.
As the drills wore on, the jawing between the ultra-competitive athletes escalated into disrespectful trash talk. Tensions between the two grew so thick that Marshall swung at Revis with an open hand, connecting with his shoulder. That’s when Quincy Enunwa stepped in.
While the two Jets were jawing near the far sideline, the young receiver bear-hugged Marshall from behind, picked him up and carried him away from Revis.
According to Marshall, the impetus for the blow-up was their one-on-one drills earlier in practice.
“I beat him two times in a row, and then on the third one, he swung and hit me in the face,” said Marshall, who at one point cursed at an official for not throwing a flag on Revis for pass interference. “And ever since then, it got really competitive.
“So that came back up in that moment. And I just told him, ‘Don’t ever put your hands in my face again like that.’ And he kind of baited me to do it, and I did it. I kind of went too far. But there’s a thin line between football and being a man.”
Revis’ side of the story was never heard. He chose not to speak to reporters.
Jets coach Todd Bowles did speak, though, and he wasn’t concerned about the incident between two of his biggest stars. “You’re going to get [ticked] off in camp as a player. It’s not charm school. We’re going to play football,” he said, adding that he doesn’t condone punching. “Both of them got to where they are by making plays and not backing down.”
Revis got the better of Marshall early on in drills, perfectly defending the 6-3 receiver on four straight pass attempts by Ryan Fitzpatrick. But on the next play, Marshall blew by Revis for an 80-yard touchdown— and he let him hear it.
Marshall wouldn’t divulge what Revis said to upset him on the field, but reporters heard him taunt Revis after his touchdown catch, calling him out for getting burned for two touchdowns last season by the Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins. Marshall acknowledged he delivered the below-the-belt barb, but he felt worse about cursing at the official than insulting Revis.
Friday’s incident was the second on-field situation involving Marshall, who punted a football over the bleachers in frustration earlier this week. Marshall has had locker-room issues with teammates in the past, but Bowles said he is “not worried about it at all.”
As for the chippiness between Revis and Marshall, the coach said: “Love it. It’s football. We’re not here judging a beauty pageant. You want some players that are chippy and know how to play. Keep it clean, but you want them on the edge.”