After some doubts, Brandon Marshall believes in Marc Trestman
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter May 22, 2014 4:48PM
Updated: May 23, 2014 12:23AM
Even though he was the Bears’ big-name trade acquisition from the previous offseason, wide receiver Brandon Marshall had his doubts about his role for the 2013 season. He was that unsure — that nervous, he said — of coach Marc Trestman.
“You want to know if you’re his guy,” Marshall said. “He was saying all the right things, but it’s like, ‘Man, is this guy that amazing? Is he lying to us?’
“It was tough. I’m the guy [who got] 170 balls a year, and now coach Trestman comes in, and he’s moving us all around and spreading the ball around, and it’s like, ‘Man, this is going to be different.’ ”
But “different” turned into a perfect scenario for Marshall.
On Thursday, at his news conference for his contract extension, Marshall delivered a candid endorsement of Trestman, who’s in his second year in charge at Halas Hall.
“After [training] camp [last season], just his love and his approach every single day, it was constant,” Marshall said. “After a few conversations sitting down, I was like, ‘Man, this guy is legit.’ ’’
Marshall’s production (100 catches, 1,295 yards, 12 touchdowns) and the offense’s overall production — the Bears were the second-highest-scoring team in the league — definitely helped. But Marshall isn’t just a firm believer in Trestman’s offensive genius; he also admires his approach to coaching.
“He puts us in position every day to grow as men,” said Marshall, who became emotional when speaking about Trestman. “To be honest, I don’t think we would be sitting here if it wasn’t for Coach and me believing in him and his coaching staff. I don’t know what to say. I’m at a loss for words when talking about Coach. He’s a man’s man. He knows how to lead alpha males.”
Marshall said that coming to Chicago was “a lifesaving and career-saving” move and that 2013 was “the first year that I wasn’t selfish.” Much of that is because of Trestman.
“I would love to be the highest-paid receiver in the league,” Marshall said. “Every guy should work towards that. But [by signing for less money], we’re able to have guys like [left tackle Jermon] Bushrod, Matt Forte [and] Martellus Bennett. It’s one of those things that you really have to sit back and ask yourself, what is it really about?”
Marshall said the Bears have fostered “a safe environment” for him to express his emotions.
“They understand that I love this game,” he said. “They know my approach. I don’t mean any harm.”
Expectations are high for the Bears’ offense in Trestman’s second season, especially after last year’s success. There’s also a win-now window with Marshall, quarterback Jay Cutler and others in the prime of their careers.
“We have a tremendous upside, but, again, we have to prove it,” Marshall said. “If we continue to work, we’ll be OK. What we did last year was really tough [when] you bring in a new coach with a really sophisticated offense. . . . It’s a tough transition, so for us to make that big of a leap last year says a lot about our coaching staff and our players. So this year, that’s something to build off of, and we can possibly be even better.”