Emotional Brandon Marshall excited to be with Bears
BY MARK POTASH Twitter: @Mark Potash March 16, 2012 2:20PM
Vowing to repair a reputation tarnished by personal-conduct issues, an emotional Brandon Marshall said he is looking forward ‘‘to being an asset to this team, this organization and most importantly to the community’’ at his introductory press conference as a member of the Bears on Friday at Halas Hall.
‘‘I couldn’t have asked for a better situation,’’ said Marshall, standing behind the lectern at the ‘‘Mugs’’ Halas Auditorium. ‘‘Being a Chicago Bear, this journey is going to be amazing, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting to be back with Jay Cutler, and that bond there — wow. I’m excited.’’
The Bears acquired Marshall, a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for third-round draft picks this year and in 2013. But concerns about Marshall’s troubled past have tempered excitement over the acquisition of the most accomplished wide receiver the Bears have had in decades. And that concern was heightened when it was learned that Marshall was accused of punching a woman in the face in a New York City nightclub on Sunday night, two days before the trade was announced.
No charges have been filed in that case and Marshall said he expects to be exonerated when ‘‘the truth’’ comes out and adamantly said he does not expect to be suspended by the NFL for the incident.
‘‘I really can’t go into much detail, and I know you guys understand that regarding the legal system,’’ Marshall said. ‘‘ But I believe in due time, the truth will come out, and we’re excited about that.’’
With Bears general manager Phil Emery, Cutler and newly signed backup quarterback Jason Campbell sitting in chairs to his right at the Halas Hall auditorium, Marshall addressed his battle with borderline personality disorder (BPD), which he was diagnosed with last year. He said he wants to be an advocate for treatment of BPD through is foundation, Project Borderline ‘‘and break the stigma of mental illness.’’ He said his goal is to be nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which honors players’ charity work.
‘‘A lot of people are afraid to talk about it, it’s taboo in our communities,’’ Marshall said. ‘‘But I’m willing to use myself, make myself and my family vulnerable, to break the stigmas. Because … 35 percent of our women’s prison population is said to have borderline personality disorder. [And] 25 percent of our men’s prison population is said to have [BPD]. For me to go through the treatment that I went through the last offseason, and to see the changes in myself, and have that feeling of ‘Wow, now I can live a healthy and effective life now.’ It’s was an amazing experience.’’
Marshall expressed regret at leaving the Dolphins without being able to ‘‘complete the mission’’ and credited former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and his wife Jeanette for ‘‘helping me understand it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.’’
But he was excited to join the Bears and rejoin Cutler, his former teammate with the Denver Broncos.
‘‘Hopefully this is not a pit stop. Hopefully this is where I end my career and this is something a place that I can call home,’’ Marshall said. ‘‘I am going to do everything I can to be an asset to this team and this community and prove to Chicago that I’m here to stay.’’
Cutler, who recently found out he was going to be a father, said the acquisition of Marshall by the Bears ‘‘was the best news I’ve had in awhile.’’ Cutler said he had been lobbying ‘‘everybody and anybody that would listen to me’’ at Halas Hall to get Marshall but was surprised when it actually happened.
‘‘I didn’t think it would be a reality. It’s fun to have him. I still can’t believe Miami gave him up.’’
As long as Marshall holds up his end of the deal off the field, he could make a big difference in the Bears’ offense, Cutler said.
‘‘Night and day,’’ he said. ‘‘He changes games. He changes defenses. Defenses have to approach us differently now. When I met with Phil [Emery] last week, I told him I needed an X and he went and got one of the best in the game.
‘‘So it definitely makes our offense click and go in a different direction and we’re hopefully going to get a few more pieces to add to it. Expectations are going to be high, but that’s fine. I’m happy for him He seems to be in a good place with his life. It’s going to be fun.’’