Giants legend Leonard Marshall, Hall of Famer Malik Nabers

Legend of the Giants Leonard Marshall Played at LSU in college, and he believes the Giants’ newest Tiger, first-round wide receiver Malik Nabers, will be a game-changer for Big Blue.

“Malik’s story is very unique to me.” Marshall, 62, said on the “Talkin’ Ball with Pat Leonard” podcast.. “Malik and I grew up in almost the same neighborhood [in Louisiana]. I believe his mother went to the same high school I went to. His family lived in Franklin, La., for a short time, and then his mother moved to Lafayette. But the child is a beast. “

“He brings a dynamic burst of energy to every aspect of the game,” added Marshall. “He’s a great wide receiver. He is very fast. He has fast feet. His route running style reminds me a lot of a great receiver I used to know, but that guy never really got his due and that was Mike Quick of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Quick, 65, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler, is in the Eagles’ franchise Hall of Fame after passing for 6,464 yards and 61 touchdowns in 101 games from 1982-90.

Marshall said Nabers’ style reminds him specifically of Quick in the way he comes out of breaks and runs the game’s toughest routes so methodically and effortlessly.

“I can’t say when [Nabers] Will come out of break when he runs [choice] route when he runs a go route, when he runs a go route or when he runs a fade,” Marshall said. “You can never tell when he’s going to do it. And it’s so smooth and painless it’s like it’s natural to him. But you have to work at it. “

“He was enjoyable and fun to watch in an LSU uniform,” the Giant added. “It’s going to be even more fun watching him as a New York Giant because now he’s in my backyard.”

The reason the Giants can celebrate the franchise’s 100th season so proudly this fall is, of course, because of all-time greats like Marshall who set the standard and paved the way.

The former defensive standout has almost every attribute a professional football player could ask for.

He is a two-time Super Bowl champion. He was a two-time NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year. He is in the Giants’ Hall of Fame, with his 79.5 sacks as a Giant, third most in team history.

And he is one of only 15 players in NFL history with three or more Super Bowl touchdowns in his career.

All that remained was the one that meant the most: a knock on the door from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, where his teammates Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson are already enshrined.

Marshall affectionately refers to his trio, Taylor and Carson, as “the three-legged stool.”

“The culmination of this will be to one day see my big ass in Canton and finish this three-legged stool,” Marshall said with a smile. “I call our relationship a three-legged stool because the three of us depended on each other on the right side of our defense to really impact games.”

“It meant a lot. It would be the crowning moment of my career,” he said, becoming emotional. “It’s too bad my father isn’t alive to see it. But it meant the world to me. It suited what I did as a player and what I contributed to the game of football. It means the world. “

It’s not just about what Marshall did as a player, from his 1984 playoff touchdown to the Rams’ Dwayne Crutchfield to his devastating 1990 NFC Championship hit on the 49ers’ Joe Montana.

He also gave back to the game and the community.

Marshall works with the Leukemia Society of America. He is on the board of Pike Therapeutics, which is working on technology for Parkinson’s disease.

He is involved with Caring Kind, New York’s leading expert in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and has been a strong advocate for the health of retired NFL players.

And he’ll be celebrating his 63rd birthday on Oct. 22 at Metuchen Country Club to raise $50,000 for a young woman with cerebral palsy named Michaela.

There’s something special about those Giants teams, how they stick together and how their group, including Marshall, takes care of themselves — which includes the general public as well as former teammates.

“I’ll share it with you. I’m going to show you how unique my band is,” Marshall said. “There is a group text with about 20 of us. And one of our former players passed away this week. This guy was with us for two years, but he meant something to the guys on the team. It was the post-Bill Parcells era. His name was Joey Smith Sr. Joey was a wide receiver for the ’91 and ’92 Giants.

When those guys heard that Joey Smith had passed away, some of the guys who played in 1990 and also in 1986 and were part of our team in ’91, I told them, guys, we should introduce you to Joey at his funeral. For some reason, he continued. “So we all pooled together and sent a big mass wreath to the funeral home. And these guys came out like you wouldn’t believe it.

Marshall said the guys are charging anywhere from $30 to $50 to $100. “Then one of my teammates showed up with $300 and said, ‘Leonard, let’s do this right.’

“We’re retired footballers,” marveled Marshall. “That part of our lives is over, but still the camaraderie and closeness of the unit we protect and the organization we represent as a whole has never been separated from these guys. And it’s nice to me to see that men can actually love each other no matter what crap they have in their lives to be around each other. I think it’s just phenomenal.”

Marshall has a prominent platform to get involved and help people because of how good he has been on the field since the Giants drafted him in the second round in 1983.

He said he started down that road with Carson and Taylor.

“One thing you look for early in your career, and it was really important to me, was to find guys that you can identify with playing your caliber of football — and then playing that caliber of football with them,” Marshall said. . “So one of the things Bill Parcells did for me early on was he introduced me to Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor. And there were two guys doing everything right when I got to the New York Giants.

“We shared a wardrobe space. “When you walked into Giants Stadium, you walked into the locker room and it was Harry’s, Lawrence’s, and then mine,” he recalled. “So I got to see these guys every day and I got to see the type of workers they are every day. My one thing was that I didn’t want them to regret having a guy like me as a teammate. I then wanted to raise my game, if not match them, be better than them. And I knew they wanted me to be like that. “

Marshall listed many people who were instrumental in his and the team’s success, including strength and conditioning coach Johnny Parker and his 5:30 a.m. offseason workouts that included Phil Sims, Joe Morris, Marshall and many others.

But Marshall worked and Parcells got the most out of this defense and this team as the best players bought in and became elite.

“The one thing that Bill Parcells talked about was he tied our football team to a winner,” Marshall said. So we set a lot with the Los Angeles Lakers. He talked about Showtime. He talked about being a big player in big games, being able to show up. “My big guys have to show up in big games.”

“And the one thing I wanted to be proud of was being the player to show up in the big games, to show up when it mattered, to show that when their best was their best, I could be better.” “That’s why I was proud of it.

Marshall said the proof is on film.

“We watch all the big games, whether we play the Cowboys, [Washington]Rams, 49ers. Whatever it is, you can go back and download our games, number 70 was recorded. I wanted the coaches to remember who the guy was who played right guard and defensive tackle. And I did it with effort. I emulated the boys’ game around me and I thought it helped me elevate the boys’ game.”

To this day, the Giants’ defense and those Giants teams remain the franchise’s gold standard. And Marshall’s belief to this day in the closeness and ability of this group is a reminder why.

“The front seven I played with in ’86, I’d go to war with them anytime,” he said. “You give me these seven boys, I will go to war with them at any time. You give me the best offense in football and I’ll show you how this front seven can beat them.

Watch Marshall’s full interview YouTube channel @PLonNFL Or listen to an audio podcast Apple or Spotify.

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