FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Brandon Marshall is warning game officials now: Watch out for Byron Maxwell’s hands.
The New York Jets wide receiver had some strong words about Maxwell, the Miami Dolphins cornerback who took on Marshall last season while he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“He just held every single play,” Marshall said Wednesday. “Every single play, he held. That was tough. They traded for him to stop me, so I’m excited about this matchup.”
Maxwell played his first four seasons in Seattle and signed with Philadelphia last offseason.
In the Jets’ 24-17 loss to the Eagles in Week 3 last season, Marshall had 10 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown — despite, he says, Maxwell being a bit too touchy-feely throughout the game.
“I don’t know him, but I don’t like him,” Marshall said. “I’m being honest with you. I’ve never had a conversation with this guy. I think he’s probably a really nice guy. He seems like a really nice guy. He doesn’t say much when he’s on the field. But because he holds every single play, I don’t like him.”
Last March, the Eagles traded Maxwell, linebacker Kiko Alonso and a first-round draft pick to Miami for the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick.
“Great trade for the Eagles,” a smiling Marshall said.
The Jets receiver added that “someone” told him that the Dolphins acquired Maxwell specifically to defend against Marshall in the teams’ two matchups during the season. Whether that’s, in fact, true is uncertain.
But Marshall also noted that the Dolphins haven’t been playing a lot of 1-on-1, man coverage in the secondary, so the two might not square off every play. But if they do, Marshall knows what to expect, judging from the film he has watched.
“Still the same guy, still the same player,” Marshall said. “Holds every single play.”
When asked if he might go to the officials before the game to make sure they know to look out for Maxwell, Marshall laughed and said he was already doing that.
“I’m talking to the officials now,” he said with a big smile. “What do you think I’m doing? He’s gonna hold me. Duh. This isn’t about Maxwell, it’s to the officials: Maxwell’s going to hold every single play.
“They’ll read the papers. This is New York. You guys do a great job of getting it out there.”
Despite being frustrated in their previous matchup, Marshall insisted he won’t let that get into his head on Sunday in Miami.
“I’m just going to bring it to him this game,” he said. “So, I’ll hold him and I’ll push him around if that’s the kind of game it’s going to be.”
For Marshall, the game also marks a return to the city where he spends most of his offseasons — and where he played for two mostly productive but tense years.
“It actually does mean a lot,” Marshall said. “I learned a lot there, especially on the football side. That’s the first time I realized that touchdowns matter. The media there killed me, and it was tough. No, seriously. It was always, `Oh, they’re paying him all of this money and he only has three touchdowns.’ That was the first time I paid attention to touchdowns.”
In two seasons with the Dolphins from 2010-11, Marshall had 167 catches for 2,228 yards and nine TDs.
Marshall recalled that he learned to block out the media, or at least try, because of the stress it caused him.
“The good thing about that was that it made me realize that you need to produce in the red zone,” he said. “Before, when I got down there, I wasn’t a complete receiver. I didn’t know how to get deep and understand how important the red zone was and I started paying a lot more attention to it.”
Marshall was then jokingly asked if he actually owes the media for helping him become the receiver he is today.
“Well, I think a lot of it was unfair, when we talk about me as a player there,” he said. “I was one of the first receivers in a long time (there) to have over 1,000 yards. I didn’t have 100 catches, but I had 80-something catches. Given the circumstances, I felt I played really well, but they killed me.
“They begged for me to come down there, and I got down there and then they said I was the worst thing ever. That usually happens in a losing environment.”
Marshall added that he’s “really disappointed” how his time in Miami ended, which came via a trade to Chicago in March 2012.
“So, I’m excited to go down there and put up 200 (yards),” Marshall said before laughing. “Nah, I can’t put up 200 yards because they don’t give up big plays. If it was 1-on-1 coverage, then that would be different, so it’s not going to be that type of game for me.
“I will say that I’m excited to play against Maxwell. I owe him one.”
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