FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Brandon Marshall knew very little about Ryan Fitzpatrick when they became teammates last offseason.The New York Jets wide receiver had heard of the quarterback, of course. But it was Fitzpatricks unusual choice to wear his wedding ring during games and practices that stood out to Marshall.I thought that was really weird and awkward, Marshall joked after practice Thursday.And then, he saw Fitzpatrick throw.He was terrible, Marshall recalled. He really was. I mean, he was coming off a broken leg. A 5-yard hitch route and hed throw it in the dirt.Fitzpatrick, who was acquired from Houston as a veteran backup to Geno Smith, came to the Jets still rehabilitating from a fractured left tibia suffered in a game in December 2014.During offseason workouts, the rust was still apparent and it concerned Marshall.Everybody felt that way, he said. We were like, `What the heck? If Geno goes down, were in trouble. Thats how everybody felt.On Aug. 11, 2015, Marshalls fear -- and everyone elses -- would be put to the test.Smith was slugged by then-teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali and his jaw was broken. The Jets season was thrust into uncertainty with one punch.I was scared, Marshall said, smiling. It was over. Seasons over. Were done.Fitzpatrick hadnt worked much with Marshall, Eric Decker and the starters up to that point, so the process of gaining a rapport was gradual. Fitzpatricks leg had fully healed, though, so those lousy-looking throws were no longer an issue.Little could anyone have guessed at that time that the Jets would have one of the most productive offensive seasons in team history. Fitzpatrick galvanized the locker room with his leadership and play, tossing a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes while getting New York within a win of the playoffs.Marshall, acquired from Chicago a day before the Jets traded for Fitzpatrick in March 2015, also set Jets records with 109 catches for 1,502 yards while scoring 14 TDs. Decker had an impressive season, too, catching 80 passes for 1,027 yards and 12 scores.He proved us wrong, Marshall said. Hes pretty good.Thats why Marshall and Decker were among a handful of Jets players who openly campaigned for the team to bring Fitzpatrick back this season.The quarterback was an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but he and the team acknowledged that they wanted a new deal to happen. That process, however, wasnt easy. The sides were locked in a contract stalemate for months, creating concern on both sides and leaving the Jets quarterback situation unsettled. Fitzpatrick finally agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal the day before training camp started last month.So, with Fitzpatrick back in the fold, expectations are quite a bit higher than they were a year ago.I actually think hes better this year, Marshall said. Hes throwing the ball with more velocity. Hes throwing the ball deeper. Hes comfortable back there. Hes really good right now. Hes impressive.The starters havent exactly lit things up through two preseason games, with Fitzpatrick going 7 of 13 for 107 yards with no TDs or interceptions in limited action. The Jets game against the Giants on Saturday night should serve as a better barometer of where the offense stands, with first-teamers expected to play at least the entire first half.We game planned this one a little bit more, just in terms of having some plays that we put in that we want to go out and execute, Fitzpatrick said. Id love to see some of the stuff weve done in practice translate to the field.Despite Fitzpatrick missing all of the offseason workouts while waiting for his contract situation to be settled, Marshall insists the offense is light years ahead of where it was last summer.From a communication standpoint, all the guesswork is gone. Fitzpatrick and his receivers know what to expect from each other. And that helps the Jets feel confident that theyve got something special going on.It was hard to do what we did last year, Marshall said. We definitely came up short. We obviously didnt win it. But for us to have Ryan come in, get the ball late in training camp and me being new, having a new offensive coordinator, new head coach, new left guard, that definitely makes it hard for our offense to jell and bond the way you would want it to to be successful.It feels like it took us to seven or eight weeks to do that. And we just feel really good with where were at right now.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP-NFL Cheap New Jersey Devils Jerseys
. Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz were sent to Toronto on Saturday as the Maple Leafs traded defenceman Jesse Blacker and draft picks to the Anaheim Ducks. Cheap Toronto Maple Leafs Jerseys
. Thats not a comment on the suspension that banished the Portland Winterhawks general manager and coach from his Western Hockey League teams bench for most of the 2012-13 season. http://www.hockeycheapjerseys.com/
. Rinne played two periods in his first game since left hip surgery in early May. Gabriel Bourque scored 3:07 into the second period and Austin Watson tallied 5:15 later for Nashville. Cheap Jerseys Wholesale
. Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and the Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Cheap Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys
. During the athletes parade, the 23-strong Ukrainian team was represented by a lone flagbearer in an apparent protest at the presence of Russian troops in Ukraines Crimean peninsula. PORTO, Portugal -- FC Porto needed another decisive performance by Andre Silva to end a winless drought at home in Europe with a 1-0 victory over Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday.The Portugal forward scored his 11th goal in his last nine appearances between club and country, helping Porto to snap a four-game winless run at home in European competition.Porto is in second place with seven points in Group G, three points behind leader Leicester, which was held to a scoreless draw at third-place FC Copenhagen.The result eliminated Brugge, which is yet to earn a point after four matches. Copenhagen has five points.Silva scored with a header off a corner in the 37th minute at the Estadio do Dragao. The ball deflected off the shoulder of Brugge midfielder Tomas Pina before going into the top corner by the far post.It is always important when you score the winning goal, the 20-year-old Silva said.We won, so we accomplished our mission for this match.dddddddddddd We claimed the three points, which was the most important thing tonight. Now we have to go into our next match with the same confidence. We will have to fight until the end.It was Silvas fourth goal in his last four matches with Porto. He scored an injury-time winner in the 2-1 victory at Brugge last month.He also had four goals in Portugals most recent World Cup qualifiers, against Andorra and the Faroe Islands.Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas made a difficult save to deny Pina an equalizer for Brugge in the 85th, as the Belgian side endured an eight-game winless run in away matches in European competition.In the second half, we all believed we could still claim a point here, but we failed to do that, Brugge captain Ruud Vormer said. We have not been lucky in this campaign. China Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Online
' ' '