EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Brandon Marshall was well aware of the "15 reasons" Sheldon Richardson had to be glad Marshall is gone from the Jets, and he knew the questions were coming. He even began his first press conference with the Giants by saying "Sheldon Richardson questions, go ahead and open it up."
But Marshall tried not to open up about his running feud with his former teammate. He preferred to stay as much as possible on the high road instead.
"You know what? It was the third or fourth time that we have gone down that path," Marshall said about Richardson's comments. "And like I said, it was tough year for us, and in the National Football League, it is not unique. We had high hopes coming off of that first year that we were all together in 2015 and it kind of blew up in our face, so we were all disappointed."
His point was the same one he made late last year, at the end of the Jets' dismal 5-11 season. He believed his season-long feud with Richardson was a product of their circumstances more than anything else.
Richardson, though, has indicated it was much more personal than that. Out of nowhere on Tuesday, when he was speaking to reporters about why he was glad the Jets didn't trade him, he said "the locker room is a whole lot easier to get along with now" and added "There are 15 reasons why it's better" -- a not-so-subtle reference to Marshall's No. 15.
Marshall said he didn't know exactly what Richardson was talking about. Asked if he was hurt by the comments, he said "I mean, I am human." He also indicated he knows he's at least partially to blame for their feud when I said "I mean, I'm not a perfect guy."
"I worked extremely hard to get into the position that I'm in today," he said. "The first couple years of my career were rough and a lot of it I did myself, hurt myself. And since that point, once I figured things out, I have worked extremely hard to be a better person and extremely hard to be a better teammate, a better father, a better husband, and I'm proud of where I'm at today."
And not only is he content with where he's at, but the Giants are thrilled that he's joined them. That's not a surprise to defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who was a teammate of both Richardson and Marshall with the Jets in 2015. He said Marshall is "a good guy."
"(He's a) great competitor," Harrison added. "And at the end of the day, bottom line, the guy can help us win the Super Bowl, and that's our ultimate goal."
Harrison tried to stay out of their feud, insisting he hadn't heard Richardson's comments. When told about the "15 reasons", Harrison said "Pretty clever, Sheldon." And when he heard about all Richardson had to say, Harrison added "Oh wow. You all got to keep the mic away from Sheldon, man."
Then he turned towards the camera and addressed Richardson directly: "Sheldon," he said, "get away from the damn microphone."