Brandon Marshall has been a fairly outspoken receiver over his NFL career, and he's certainly not a player who's afraid to say what's on his mind. Some might go so far as to call him a "diva". But on Wednesday, his comments about the upcoming game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers set the bar at a new level for disrespect and trash-talk. Check out this link for Tyler Dunne's story from JSOnline for Marshall's full quotes, but keep reading for some of the highlights.
Marshall spent a lot of time discussing the fact that he is upset about Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson apparently saying that they shut him down in the teams' earlier meeting in Week Two:
This is the biggest game of my career. I’m excited about it. I’ve had this game marked since we played them last. I heard exactly what the corner — what’s the, ‘Tramon?’ — I heard exactly what he was saying after the game. Woodson, those guys, they do a lot of talking so this is personal for me.
That certainly was a shot at Williams, with Marshall acting like he forgot his name. He even went so far as to deliberately mis-pronounce his first name as TRAY-mon. As for what Williams and Woodson said to agitate Marshall, I don't remember, and the only quote that I can recall from either one after the game was Woodson's comments to the effect that "we knew that Jay would throw us the ball." That's certainly not a shot at Marshall, who very well could be imagining things -- when he was asked what comments he was referring to, he told the reporter to "go on Google or something".
What I see here is a player trying to build up some anger and aggression for a big game by taking offense to his opponents bragging about their performances against him, while being entirely unable to provide any examples of those people actually saying anything in the first place. It appears that he wants a reason to put a chip on his shoulder without having any substance to base it on.
Marshall then proceeded to disrespect the secondary further by insinuating that the only reason they shut him down earlier this season was due to Dom Capers' defensive scheme, rather than the players' abilities:
Coach Capers is their player MVP. So for their players to be over their talking about how awesome of a job they are shutting down certain players. You know, I don’t respect that when two or three guys are on you or other guys.
Again, he makes reference to Packers bragging about their personal performances without giving any examples. He apparently just doesn't like being double-covered. Well, that's just too bad, because I can pretty much guarantee that he's going to see similar coverage to what he got in Week Two. In the only comment in the entire interview that I actually understand and agree with, Marshall suggested that the Bears would have to rely on other weapons if he continues to draw two or three defenders. Therefore, look for Alshon Jeffery to play a big role for the Bears this week.
Marshall later addressed the issue of his level of respect for the Packers:
Like I said, this is personal. I respect the things they have accomplished. I respect where they’re at. I’m always going to respect my opponent. But all that shaking hands stuff, it’s not going to happen.
I would love nothing more than for Marshall to be made into a non-factor this Sunday and for Williams to track him down after the game and offer him a handshake.
Oh, and when he was asked if he was concerned that any of his comments would be used as motivation by the Packers, he said that he was "absolutely not" worried. That's fine, Brandon. Disrespect the Packers all you want because whether you like it or not, a defensive scheme only works if the players execute it. I look forward to the Packers continuing to bracket Marshall this Sunday and force Jay Cutler to either throw to other receivers or attempt ill-advised passes in Marshall's direction.
There are some players on rival teams that I respect greatly. Brian Urlacher is one. Calvin Johnson is another. I won't say that I like them, but I hold a great deal of respect for them as people and the way that they carry themselves on and off the field. But Brandon Marshall is not a person I respect. Frankly, I think that he is a whiny troll who doesn't like the fact that he didn't play well when these teams met earlier in the year, and that he's putting words in the mouths of his opponents to try to motivate himself.
Hey, Brandon: you dropped a wide-open touchdown in Week Two. If anything should motivate you to be more effective this week, it's that play.