In seven NFL seasons, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall has smashed records and been voted to three Pro Bowls. But for someone who has never been part of a team that has qualified for the playoffs, winning trumps all individual accomplishments.
“I want the ball all the time,” Marshall said. “I want the ball every single play. But I’m wiser now. I know there are going to be weeks where a team is just going to take me out of the game. There may be weeks where Alshon [Jeffery] may be hot. There may be one-on-one coverage all around the board, but it may be Alshon’s day or Devin [Hester's] day.
“As long as we’re winning games, I’m happy. I have a nice contract. I’m on a nice team. I’m pretty secure. The only thing I don’t have is wins. That’s what checks my ego at the door is being in this position and knowing that we have a chance to win and do big things.
“At the end of the day, whether I put up 100 catches or 80, as long as we’re winning that’s all that matters. Now I do know the NFL is all about production-what have you done for me lately-so I’ve got to keep myself in position to make those plays when it comes to me.”
With 23 receptions for 352 yards through four games, Marshall is on pace for 1,408 yards, which would eclipse Marcus Robinson’s Bears record of 1,400 yards set in 1999.
While Marshall understands that quarterback Jay Cutler isn’t going to regularly throw the ball into double and triple coverage, the 6-4, 230-pound receiver is confident that he can consistently win one-on-one battles with cornerbacks.
Marshall has done just that in the last two games, snatching jump balls away from the Rams’ Cortland Finnegan and the Cowboys’ Brandon Carr for receptions of 34 and 30 yards, respectively.
“God blessed me with a big frame,” Marshall said. “Since I’ve been in the league I’ve never been a guy who has three and four yards separation. That’s not my game.
“My game is putting myself in position where I’m between the ball and the defensive back so when a ball is in the air I pride myself on just making that play almost like a rebounder on the basketball court. I don’t expect to get huge separation. I’m not Devin Hester. I’m not fast. But I do try to take advantage of what I do have, and that’s my size.”
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