"He has a drive and a passion that a lot of people don't see," Marshall told reporters Friday, per the New York Daily News.
The relationship between the signal-caller and pass-catcher actually goes back a few years.
"This is pretty interesting because Geno and I, we started this weird relationship from the time he got drafted," Marshall said. "He's a Florida guy. My gym ... it's literally like three exits from him. We started this relationship, and it's pretty cool to see how it develops off the field."
The bigger question for Jets fans is how it develops on the field. To help bridge the gap, Marshall said he's already planned workouts with Smith to build a rapport.
"So now I get traded, and when this stuff starts happening, we started communicating," he said. "We both decided it would probably be cool to get together and work out for the rest of the offseason ... and try to get other guys down so we can start building that chemistry."
Every positive story about the Jets' offseason comes with the caveat that Gang Green still lacks a quality quarterback to run the show. While Fitzpatrick brings knowledge of Chan Gailey's offense, Smith is the more talented player, but struggles with consistency. Neither instills confidence.
Perhaps working with Marshall in the offseason can jump-start Smith's year and propel him to the starting gig. But if his play resembles last season's roller coaster, none of the offseason moves will keep the Jets from remaining the cellar dwellers of the AFC East.