Watching 6-4, 230-pound receiver Brandon Marshall, it’s obvious that he possesses the size and strength to consistently win one-on-one battles. But that’s not the only reason he excels.
“Physically, we all know what he can do,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “Behind the scenes, I don’t think people realize how smart and gifted he is mentally within the game of football.
“He knows my reads. He can call the plays in the huddle. He knows where everybody lines up. He could play [every receiver position]. He’s extremely smart. His ability to adjust in the middle of routes depending on coverages is extraordinary.”
Marshall takes pride in the mental aspect of the game.
“That started back in high school when I noticed the guys were faster than me, so I had to be a little crafty in my route running,” he said. “My father used to always teach me the game and how to run routes and be quarterback-friendly. So being with a quarterback who understands leverage and body position made it easy for me and it makes it easy on our offense.”
With 50 receptions for 675 yards through seven games, Marshall is on pace to set Bears single-season records with a career-high 114 catches and 1,542 yards.
Cutler believes that his long-time teammate—first in Denver and now in Chicago—has matured, saying: “He’s a different receiver. I would say better. He understands the game a lot better. He takes care of his body. He’s there every single day getting better.”
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