Brandon Marshall says he'll 'absolutely' change leadership approach if Jets retain him

NEW YORK -- Wide receiver Brandon Marshall's vocal leadership approach didn't go over well in the Jets' locker room last season, as his teammates grew tired of it.  So will Marshall adopt a different approach if he returns to the Jets in...

Brandon Marshall says he'll 'absolutely' change leadership approach if Jets retain him

NEW YORK -- Wide receiver Brandon Marshall's vocal leadership approach didn't go over well in the Jets' locker room last season, as his teammates grew tired of it. 

So will Marshall adopt a different approach if he returns to the Jets in 2017 and isn't cut or traded?

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"Absolutely," he told NJ Advance Media this week. "It's difficult being in a losing environment, so I will have to navigate through that a little differently. I've learned a lot from last year. I will be better if that situation comes up."

Marshall most notably clashed last season -- on at least a couple occasions -- with defensive end Sheldon Richardson, another outspoken player. Richardson publicly ripped Marshall near the end of the Jets' disastrous 5-11 season. 

"Nothing is received well in a losing locker room," Marshall said. "These things happen with a strong personality, and a guy who works and busts his butt for excellence. That's going to happen in a losing environment." 

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Marshall was pressed this week on whether he'd be less vocal if he's around in 2017. He did not specifically say. 

"You've just got to know everyone is different," he said when asked how he'd change his leadership approach. "One is knowing yourself, right? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses. For me, I realize that I've been losing pretty much my entire career.

"I've made money. That's good. I've had a lot of success as an individual, but that's just not good enough. What I've learned about myself is it's really difficult for me in my last years losing. I wasn't prepared for that [last season]. It wasn't the year I thought it would be. When the season flipped the way it did -- or didn't flip the way we expected it to -- it was really challenging. That's for me. All I want to do is win." 

In addition to understanding himself, Marshall said he must understand his teammates. 

"Understanding guys are in different positions and places in their careers and lives," Marshall said. "Remembering I was young and immature at times, too." 

Marshall had the "same exact approach" with vocal leadership in 2015, compared to 2016. 

"But we were winning games," he said of 2015, when the Jets went 10-6. 

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Despite individual success, Marshall has never made the playoffs in his 11-year career, which includes six Pro Bowls, one first-team All-Pro appearance, 12,061 yards, and 82 touchdowns. He has earned $73.7 million total in his career. 

But Marshall's four teams in 11 seasons are a combined 83-93, with three winning seasons and three seasons of an 8-8 record. He is tired of being involved in losing locker rooms -- and contentious locker room environments. (The Bears also went 5-11 with him on the roster.) 

"For me, that's been my entire career," Marshall said. "It's been in that kind of an environment. I've been at fault at times, but that's my entire career. I'm just tired of that being the narrative my entire career. I want to change that narrative really badly. Like badly." 

The narrative that he's a disruptive presence in the locker room? 

"The narrative of being in a struggling, losing team," he clarified. "I want to win. That's what I mean. I want to change that narrative." 

Marshall dodged a question about whether he'll try to mend fences with Richardson, presuming they're both back in 2017. The Jets might trade Richardson, so both could be gone. 

"That's the past, man," Marshall said of Richardson. "This is the business. When you lose, that's what happens. You regroup in the offseason and move forward. There's not much for us to talk about. We all stunk. None of us were good enough, from top to bottom." 

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Marshall spoke about these topics Tuesday at a charity event in Manhattan that benefited his Project 375 foundation, which raises money and awareness for mental health issues.

The event tied in with Marshall being on the cover -- along with his wife, Michi -- of the February issue of Resident magazine. Marshall considers events like this an important platform for his foundation. 

"Probably the most important thing that we can do is continue the conversation," he said. "Although there's still a ton of stigma surrounding [mental health], and it's still tough, working in this field, we're making a lot of progress. And we've just got to keep the momentum going." 

Darryl Slater may be reached at dslater@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @DarrylSlater. Find NJ.com Jets on Facebook.

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