Brandon Marshall told reporters he expects the team's young wide receivers to step up with Eric Decker set for season-ending surgery.
"It definitely hurts," Marshall said about the loss of Decker. "He's one of the great receivers in the league but we're more than confident in the younger guys that we have that they'll make plays, right Robby?"
That question was directed to Robby Anderson.
Anderson, 23, has five receptions for 56 yards this season.
"Out of respect for Decker, he's a big part, he's a talent in this league, but in the National Football League, the truth is next man up and we have depth on this team," Marshall said. "We have depth on the wide receiver position, so we'll be fine."
Along with Marshall and Anderson, the Jets have Quincy Enunwa, the recently-signed Jeremy Butler, Jalin Marshall, and Charone Peake as wide receiver options.
Well, Brandon Marshall is Mr. Happy lately. I don't know if he really believes they'll be "fine" or whether that's just wishful thinking. Whatever it is, it's far from a guarantee.
I like the potential of Robby Anderson, Charone Peake and Jalin Marshall. But Eric Decker caught 80 passes for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and that was basically what he averaged over the last four years, too. The guy is a legit No. 1 receiver on most teams. I'm not sure Anderson, Peake, Marshall and Quincy Enunwa together could make up for that.
The real problem is that while all those players may be "fine," they are now going to be thrust into unexpected roles. Enunwa was developing as a nice No. 3 receiver, but who knows if he can step into a No. 2 role and keep it up all season long. The rookie trio of Anderson, Peake and Marshall looked like nice pieces to plug in for spot duty in a four-receiver set. Now one of them will have to fill Enunwa's role as a No. 3.
It's just too much. And the result is going to be an overload of coverage on Brandon Marshall and an overload of passes thrown his direction. If Marshall believes the Jets will be "fine" -- both at receiver and this season -- that's great. I just don't see how.
Hope is all the Jets have left at this point. Sitting at 1-4, the schedule softens after Arizona. And based on what the Cardinals have demonstrated this season, beating them isn't going to be as hard as it might have seemed a year ago.
As I wrote earlier today, I do like the Jets' youth and depth at receiver. Between Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall and new addition Jeremy Butler, the team has potential -- not even mentioning last year's second rounder, Devin Smith.
If Marshall can push his efficiency when targeted a little and the young guys can step up it could make all the difference in the world.
Now if the Jets could just do something about this abomination of a secondary...