Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brandon, What The Hell Do You Want?

The ongoing Brandon Marshall saga fluctuates between new absurdities and the sublime, achieving a high frequency resonance of selfishness that blurs the line between legitimate complaint and wanton destruction of the Broncos' season.

And at this point I think Marshall no longer has a clue what he really wants.

So now Marshall is practicing, or sort of practicing while coming off some kind of a hamstring thing. It's clear that Josh McDaniels has no clue how to handle him. Marshall is alternatively listed as a starter and second stringer. He practiced with the scout team last week, even while the Broncos listed four wideouts as starters on their depth chart. Whatever game of chicken McDaniel is playing, he won't win. Chad Jackson will not be the Broncos' starting wide receiver in 2009.

Volumes have been written about the Broncos this off-season. They are a compelling drama, and it is hard to try to tackle the story with any kind of a new angle, they've all been beaten to death. Marshall wants a new contract, Marshall doesn't get along with McDaniels, McDaniels doesn't get along with Marshall, even as they 'like' each other through gritted teeth.

"We don't really have a relationship right now, probably because I haven't been here," said Marshall, who was sidelined during most of the offseason while recovering from hip surgery, and missed many training camp practices because of a hamstring injury and his trial.
worse for Marshall, McDaniels and the Broncos seem to be winning the battle of public opinion, such as it is.

That’s right. Don’t adjust your monitor; according to Marshall it’s the coach’s fault that he feels his hip injury was misdiagnosed. It’s the coach’s fault that the latest prima donna wide receiver thought his team should focus solely on his acquittal. It’s the coach’s fault that a Broncos’ PR exec thought the players should focus on how Marshall’s acquittal helps the team instead of throwing a parade for a man found not guilty of misdemeanor battery.

And it’s McDaniels’ fault that Marshall has gone public with his plans to ignore the playbook until he’s either traded or given a new contract. Never mind that he has a legal obligation to follow through on the agreement he signed, and you can forget about the fact that football is a team sport, not a self-indulgent reality show, and 52 other colleagues are counting on his production. Brandon Marshall has his feelings hurt because the logo on the helmet is a horse’s head, not a horse’s rear.

So somehow, the man to blame is the one wearing the big headset on the sidelines. Notice a trend? If not, here it is. I’ll spell it out for you: It’s someone else’s fault.

Where’s the accountability? Where’s the camaraderie? Where’s the giant banner that ought to be hanging from Marshall’s locker exclaiming that football is a TEAM sport?

David Ramsey of the Colorado Springs Gazette wonders whether Marshall can fit in with McDaniels' Broncos.

Brandon is not concerned with team. Brandon is concerned with Brandon.

He’s obsessed with his catches, his yards, his touchdowns. He wants to dance in the end zone while thousands chant his name.

He’s smart enough to see Denver is not a desirable destination for a wide receiver desperately in love with self and flashy numbers. He sees what every other Broncos fan can see:

Kyle Orton is not the second coming of Joe Montana. He’s not even the second coming of Jake Plummer.

If Marshall returns to play for Denver — and that’s an extremely unlikely scenario — there’s no way he grabs 100 catches for the third straight season. I don’t believe Orton could find him 75 times.

It’s easy to see why Marshall wants to flee.

we've already read this story, except the protagonist was Randy Moss and the city was Oakland.

broncobear at the MileHighReport writes a compelling and related article about the Broncos selecting for leadership.
McDaniels began the process by bringing in some of the best coaches that he could find. Mike Nolan was brought in to turn around a defense that was on life support and fading fast. Mike McCoy came on to work closely with McDaniels and change the offense. Wayne Nunnely, a 35-year veteran of the game, came in to teach the techniques and secrets of the 3-4 defense to the linemen, while other quality position coaches like Don Martindale (linebackers) and Ed Donatell (defensive backs) filled out the positions. On offense, Clancy Barone took over the tight ends and Adam Gase took on the receiving corps, while Turner and Dennison guaranteed some continuity with the running game that has long been a Denver mainstay. The special-teams play that had been missing in action for years was handed to Mike Priefer and supported by longtime Broncos specialist Keith Burns. If it's true that it all starts with the coaching, the Broncos have taken a big step forward.


The next step was to clean house on the players' side of the equation. There were wholesale releases of players who the coaches felt would not fit into the new approach to the game. Bigger, more physical, more cerebral and more versatile became the war cry of the day.
It is legitimate to wonder whether a guy like Brandon Marshall can ever fit into that locker room. Sure, in our other story Randy Moss eventually found his happily ever after, but that was with a team with a track record, stability, and veteran leadership. The Broncos are transitioning, possibly to that point, and Marshall does not appear to be patient enough for the day that point arrives.

I wish I could conclude with something glib or clever, but my jaw is as dropped as anyone's regarding Brandon Marshall. Talented football players will always draw suitors, it's the nature of the beast, and I expect Denver to exhaust every effort to include Marshall as part of a productive offense, but at this point it is really up to Marshall and - other than attention and chaos - it simply isn't clear what he really seeks.

1 comment:

  1. Of course he doesn't fit into that locker room. I don't think he even wants to. What does he want? He wants what Cutler got--out of Denver and off to a place that may end up reworking his contract sooner than Denver will. Sure, he probably wants to win, too, and will say all the right stuff about teamwork in that regard, but he's made it clear that it's all about him. Denver gave Cutler what he wanted, and Marshall wants the same thing. Why should he expect he won't get it?


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