news / Brandon Marshall’s here to take Odell Beckham to next level

Brandon Marshall has always been the lead dog, the No. 1 receiver, and it will be an adjustment for him to join the Giants with superstar Odell Beckham Jr. as a teammate.

“I’m excited to see him take it to another level,’’ Marshall said Wednesday after signing a two-year contract with the Giants. “This kid isn’t even in his prime yet and he’s a monster, so I can’t wait to be a part of his journey, this maturation process that he’s on.’’

It remains to be seen how much of a role model Marshall, soon to be 33, is on the 24-year old Beckham. Marshall has experienced his share of locker-room drama. The two, as high-profile NFL players, already have a relationship, with Marshall reaching out to Beckham during some of Beckham’s

“Being able to be a sounding board for him and talk to him about some of the great things he’s experienced and some of the challenging things he went through last year, I was just happy I could be there for him,’’ Marshall said. “I just love the guy to death.’’

Marshall called Beckham “the biggest superstar in the NFL’’ and said, “I’m eager to take pressure off him. So many teams do everything they can to pull him out of the game.’’

In Ben McAdoo’s offense the past three seasons, no team in the NFL used a three-receiver set more often than the Giants. The dramatic dip in scoring production in 2016 went down as the Beckham-Sterling Shepard-Victor Cruz trio failed to generate enough points — surely a failing more on the offensive line than any other position group. Cruz in his comeback season had 39 catches for 586 yards and only one touchdown, numbers Marshall might come close to matching by midseason.

“I have a wealth of experience, good and bad, and I think our younger guys can pull from that organically,’’ said Marshall, who becomes the second-oldest player on the Giants’ roster, after Eli Manning. “I think those guys, when they need to, they’ll pull from me in an organic way.’’



Paul Schwartz | | March 8, 2017