Brandon Marshall in awe of former Broncos’ reunion with Bears
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 22, 2012 8:08PM
New Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall tweeted this picture Tuesday morning and said: "Is it Sunday yet?"
Updated: July 2, 2012 10:03AM
On Tuesday morning, before the first official organized team activities session at Halas Hall, Brandon Marshall slipped on his Bears uniform for a photo shoot.
“That was the first time. And you know what? It’s so surreal that I’m here,” Marshall told the Sun-Times later in the day. “How do I start with the [Denver] Broncos and end up with the Bears a few years later?”
Before practice, Marshall chatted with quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, his receivers coach in Denver. Marshall marveled at how he, Bates and Jay Cutler wound up in Chicago in what Marshall considers their prime.
“That just doesn’t happen in sports,” he said. “You don’t have a Pro Bowl receiver and a Pro Bowl quarterback and one of the most talented minds in football in Jeremy Bates back together. It just doesn’t.
“Honestly, I can speak for myself, but I’m entering my prime. And from the outside looking in, Jay really is entering his. I felt like he was doing that last year.
“I felt I was, but I wasn’t in the best situation. You could see how he was controlling our offense and the throws he was making. That was exciting to see.”
Marshall paused but only for a moment.
“Then you look at Jeremy Bates and the way he’s installing some things with coach [Mike] Tice and his knowledge of the game now. We’re all just primed and ready.”
Bates, Cutler and Marshall developed their NFL reputations together with the Broncos. Cutler and Marshall earned Pro Bowl honors while Bates parlayed his success with the Broncos’ offense into an assistant head-coaching job at USC under Pete Carroll.
Since then, though, they have had to overcome challenges, which is why all three are so excited about the 2012 season.
Despite just missing the playoffs last season, the Bears made several significant changes. They replaced general manager Jerry Angelo with Phil Emery and added players such as Marshall and veterans Jason Campbell and Michael Bush. The key questions are whether the offensive line, which is largely unchanged, performs better and when Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte will join the team.
On Tuesday, the Bears were able to actually practice, albeit in limited fashion.
“It felt good,” Marshall said. “I think we all were excited. Jay had to come in the huddle once and tell everyone, ‘Relax.’
“Sometimes you can get too excited where you’re not executing as effectively. I think tomorrow we’ll settle in a little more and [be] more crisp.”
Last week, Marshall’s attorney said New York City police would not be filing charges against Marshall stemming from an incident outside a nightclub in March. A woman accused Marshall of punching her during an altercation.
“I don’t feel one way or the other. I’m really disappointed that it happened,” Marshall said. “In every situation, you have to look at how you contributed to that situation. But she publicly went out and accused me of these things, and I felt she should have publicly apologized for what she did. She saw an opportunity — maybe a financial opportunity — and it just didn’t work out because of the surveillance cameras that were there.
“I’ve worked hard to change some things in my life, but I can’t have things like that happen.”
Now, Marshall’s focus is on football.
“I’m really at a loss for words,” he said. “You couldn’t ask for a better situation.
“The things I’m trying to do in the community and the things I want to accomplish in terms of team goals and individual goals, I’m in the prefect place.”