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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Todd Bowles has no problem with Brandon Marshall speaking his mind. The New York Jets coach just wants his players to be careful when doing so.
Marshall, a regular on Showtime's "Inside The NFL," created headlines Tuesday night when he suggested that many NFL players believe that white players are treated differently by the league when it comes to discipline.
While the show's in-studio panel discussed New England quarterback Tom Brady having his four-game suspension being dropped by a federal judge last week, Marshall said there are three types of opinions by players on the "Deflategate" scandal. One was the players who support Brady, the others are "cowards" who are afraid to face the quarterback and want him suspended.
"And the last is the race card," Marshall said. "There are a lot of players out there that believe that white players, specifically at the quarterback position, are treated differently."
Marshall added that he had spoken to players of different races from several teams.
"I think his opinion is well-warranted in what he said," Bowles said when asked Wednesday of Marshall's comments. "I'm sure you have cases back when I played. I've seen some things just as he's seen some things, but I'm not on that platform, he is, and he's got to be smarter."
When asked what he meant by "smarter," Bowles said: "In terms of how he says things. You can say things and they come out a different way than what you mean it. Just got to be smarter that way."
Bowles, an NFL safety from 1986-93, added that Marshall approached him about what he said Wednesday morning. The two discussed it, and Bowles insisted it was not a distraction.
"It was a normal conversation, so we talked about it in-depth like two grown men and we let it go," Bowles said. "I read the article, he understood where I was coming from and I understood where he was coming from and we moved on."
Marshall was not made available to the media during locker room availability Wednesday.
The Jets have mostly stayed tight-lipped when it comes to the situation surrounding the Patriots, with Marshall's comments one of the few exceptions.
"It's not for us to talk about," Bowles said. "We don't play New England until later on in the year. It doesn't even bother us. It doesn't affect us. It's not on our team. It's not around our team. Anything outside of what we do as ourselves takes away from our preparation for the game."
NOTES: Other than QB Geno Smith (jaw), every other player participated in practice. LB Erin Henderson (knee), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder), WR Devin Smith (ribs) and DE Leonard Williams (calf) were limited. Henderson, Jarrett and Williams are expected to play against Cleveland. Devin Smith took part in team drills for the first time since being injured early in training camp, but will sit out the opener.
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