Exclusive Q&A: Brandon Marshall talks Jets, Manziel, Super Bowl

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By JOHN DORN

New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is coming off a career year in which he recorded 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns, got the chance to hang out with AOL Sports and discuss Mountain Dew's Super Bowl ad, the past season, his love of New York, Johnny Manziel, and his big-game prediction.

Q: You've teamed up with Mountain Dew, which is getting ready to unveil its first Super Bowl ad in more than 15 years, as well as hosting a live Super Bowl Picks event yesterday. Tell me a little more about the event, which included a real puppy, a real monkey and a real baby?

A: I was wondering about it before I even showed up. I was trying to figure out how the heck we were gonna have a puppy, a monkey and a baby predict the game. It was cool to watch. The puppy predicted that the Panthers will win. The monkey predicted that the Broncos will win, and the baby predicted that the Panthers will win.

Q: I want to take it back to almost this time last year -- it was last March, you were traded to the Jets. Coming off a 4-12 season, it was very clear they were cleaning house and looking to start fresh. What were your honest expectations for the season when you first found out you were headed to New York?

A: We had an opportunity to explore a trade. And that's where we wanted to go. Once we saw that the trade went through, we were happy because that was the perfect place for me. And it turned out to be the right pick.

Q: Why did you think New York was the perfect place for you?

Coach Bowles. I already knew some of the veterans in the locker room and spent some times with them at Pro Bowls and at different events around the league. I knew they had some strong leadership, and that's what it takes to be successful at this level. You look at Nick (Mangold and Double-D (Demario Davis), D'Brickashaw (Ferguson), I was like, 'Man, this would be a great locker room for me to walk into.'

Take a look back at Brandon Marshall's career so far:

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Brandon Marshall through his career
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Exclusive Q&A: Brandon Marshall talks Jets, Manziel, Super Bowl
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MTN DEW KICKSTART - Star wide receiver Brandon Marshall moderates the MTN DEW® KICKSTARTT Super Bowl 50 predictions by a puppy, a monkey and a baby at the NFL Experience in the Moscone Center in San Francisco on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The event features elements of the MTN DEW KICKSTART "Puppymonkeybaby" 2016 Super Bowl commercial. (Peter Barreras/AP Images for MTN DEW KICKSTART)
Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Brandon Marshall pulls in a pass during the morning football training camp session at the Broncos' headquarters in Denver, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) during an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007, in Denver. The Chargers beat the Broncos 41-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall jokes with teammates during warm-up drills at quarterback camp at the team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Thursday, May 22, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) points to Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin (33) as he heads to the end zone to score a touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Denver, Monday, Nov. 19, 2007. The Broncos beat the Titans 34-20. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall runs against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL football game in Denver, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008. The Raiders beat the Broncos 31-10. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall jokes with members of the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets while seated in a courtside seat to watch the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Brandon Marshall, whom the Miami Dolphins acquired Wednesday from the Denver Broncos, speaks to reporters at in informal news conference in Plantation, Fla., Thursday, April 15, 2010. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall (19) hauls in a touchdown pass against the defense of New England Patriots defensive back Kyle Arrington, behind, during the second quarter of an NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
New Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall talks to the media during a news conference at Halas Hall Friday, March 16, 2012, in Lake Forest, Ill.. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall catches a pass during warmups before an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall smiles while addressing an audience during a forum on mental health policies that marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's signing of the Community Mental Health Act, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert McClain (27) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
New York Jets' Brandon Marshall speaks to reporters after an NFL football organized team activity in Florham Park, N.J., Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall scores on a touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Gary Hershorn)
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks to avoid a tackle by Washington Redskins strong safety Trenton Robinson during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Gary Hershorn)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Sirius)
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Q: Now that you've spent a season in New York is there anything that caught you by surprise? Something you didn't really expect, playing in that kind of media market?

A: They're nicer than the Chicago market. That was the biggest surprise, man. Chicago was brutal the last year, and New York -- from the outside -- it's kind of intimidating. But it wasn't bad. I guess that's because I had a good year. Next year, if I have a dropoff, I'm sure I'll be getting crushed.

Q: Can you describe your relationship with Ryan Fitzpatrick? And why the connection between the both of you was so successful last season?

A: We just worked hard. We had great guys around us, starting with Coach Gailey and Kevin (Patullo), our quarterback coach, coach Karl Dorrell (WRs coach), these guys really pushed us this year. You look at our players: Eric Decker, Chris Ivory, our offensive line. That's where it starts: the running game. So we had some one-on-one matchups on the outside and we took advantage of it.

Q: Fitzpatrick's status is a little uncertain, but aside from bringing him back, in your opinion, what are some of the missing pieces to make next year's team even better?

A: We always want to add depth, but we have everything we need right now to get the job done. So anything we bring in will be icing on the cake.

Q: One clear strength was the Jets' receiving core. Do you think Eric Decker and yourself made up the best WR duo in the game?

A: I think so. The year before, we did it in Chicago -- Alshon Jeffery and myself. And the year after that, we had a huge dropoff. You have to earn it every single year, and we won't live in the past. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off and do even better.

Q: Have there been any conversations between yourself and your teammates about expectations for next year?

A: No... the last thing coach says (after the season ends) is get away from the game and relax. It's not time for that right now. The season is so demanding, physically and mentally, I just hope the guys have been getting away, enjoying themselves and gearing up for another run.

Q: How long does that process usually last -- when does football start to come back into the fold?

A: I don't know if it ever leaves the fold if we're forced to get away, right? Most guys are working out already, but I would say the majority of the guys will be back at it in March.

Q: Around the NFL, you're the biggest advocate there is for mental health awareness. The news surrounding Johnny Manziel has been really concerning lately -- with his family begging him to get help and Johnny, reportedly, not acting on it. I wanted to get your perspective on that situation.

A: We need to approach the situation with with seriousness. Obviously there are some things going on there, we know of him going to rehab last year. We don't know if he's ever been diagnosed with any type of mental health condition. Maybe there's some substance abuse there. But he is a guy that I'm pulling for and praying for. Hopefully he gets the help he needs so he can save his life.

Q: Finally, I need your Super Bowl prediction. Who do you have on Sunday?

A: Denver wins it. That's it, Denver wins it.

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