Brandon Marshall isn’t considering himself the key piece to the Chicago Bears. He’s simply considering himself the final piece to a puzzle for a Bears team that now has its highest expectations since making the Super Bowl in 2006.
Marshall rejoins quarterback Jay Cutler in Chicago, where he is doing his best to turn over a new leaf after several off-the-field issues in recent years. Marshall says he knows he has to go out there and show that he’s not all talk, but he’s certainly said all the right things up to this point.
Brandon Marshall joined WSCR in Chicago with Mully and Hanley to discuss people’s expectations for him in Chicago, his own expectations, reuniting with his quarterback and a coach from his time in Denver, if he’s sick of talking about his off-the-field issues, the changes he’s made in his life and Jay Cutler as an elite quarterback.
Does the level of expectations people in Chicago have for you intimidate you a little?:
“I knew about the market coming in and the fans and the excitement, but it wasn’t until I got here in camp that I really understood how serious it is being a Bear. I’m at a loss for words. The market is huge; there’s a lot of media coverage, there’s a lot of fan support. If you don’t deal with it right, it can be overwhelming, but it’s exciting.”
Do you and Jay also expect big things together though?:
“The good thing about this team and the way it’s built is it’s not all on one guy. It’s not all on Jay; it’s not all on the receivers or the defense. We understand that it takes a complete team. I think that’s what the excitement is from. Maybe now we have a guy that can really dominate, is proven to dominate out there on that island, but at the same time, we need Devin, we need Earl to continue doing what they’ve been doing — nothing different. … I’m just the extra piece to the puzzle and it’s really nothing special, it’s just completing the puzzle.”
With you, Jay and Jeremy Bates all reconvening in Chicago, how easy is it to just get back to what you guys were doing in Denver?:
“It’s Mike Tice and it’s Jay Cutler. That’s the man. When you understand that, it makes it easier. Like I said, Jeremy knows his role, I know my role and my role is to run what’s called and if I can’t do it, practice to be able to do it. … There is communication there, but I don’t worry too much about going to them and telling what I like to do, because honestly they already know.”
You’ve been pretty open in talking about some off-the-field issues. Does that get tiring?:
“My goal in all of this is to turn my trials into a testimony and when you’re able to do that, you’ll help so many people. My purpose on this Earth is not to be a professional football player or to be remembered as that. I want to be remembered as the guy that helped inspire and change so many lives, so many communities. That’s my mission; that’s my wife and I’s mission. … There comes a point in time where you have to take responsibility and step up to the plate and change some things. But some people just don’t know.”
More on making changes in his life:
“At the end of the day, you want people to see it rather than hear it first. But at the same time, it’s going to take for you to be in the community to speak out, so you don’t want to be all talk, you want people to be able to see how you’re living. … There’s a lot of people that needs help. It may take my story to help them. I’m willing to put forth the effort and the energy to do that. Whenever I get an opportunity to score a touchdown, that equals more followers. … I want my message to be the same and for people to hear my message that I’ve been through a lot, but look where I am today. … We just lost another guy, we lost Junior not too long ago, and that’s my story. I’ve never been suicidal, but I can understand how those guys can be so overwhelmed that they can get to that. But the blueprint and the key to it all is just opening up, talking and communicating.”
Do you think Jay is an elite quarterback?:
“I’ve said it since the beginning and maybe I was saying it early on in our career because he was my quarterback, but I think he has the ability to be the best. At this level, he’s an elite quarterback, but when you look at the elite quarterbacks, they can throw. … But the things that separate those quarterbacks from the Super Bowls and all the other stuff is the guys around them. … Jay has the it thing going on.”