So far, Bears’ Brandon Marshall earning raves as a leader
By JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org August 15, 2012 8:46PM
Updated: September 17, 2012 1:09PM
From a drama standpoint, the Bears took a gamble in acquiring receiver Brandon Marshall in the offseason. The Miami Dolphins, his former team, couldn’t avoid that drama with receiver Chad Johnson, whose dismissal from the team was aired Tuesday night on HBO’s ‘‘Hard Knocks.’’
The only hard knocks involving Marshall are the ones he has been putting on Bears defensive backs daily in training camp.
‘‘What a great leader he’s been in my meeting room,’’ wide receivers coach Darryl Drake said. ‘‘I can’t vouch for what’s happened in the past. Only he can. And he makes no excuses for the way things have happened. But he’s just been fantastic with the young guys, sharing stories. Sharing technique. Teaching them. Reiterating what we’re trying to do.’’
Marshall a leader? Bears general manager Phil Emery might have one of the steals of the offseason.
‘‘Sometimes guys understand it better from their peers, because I’m like a parent,’’ Drake said. You hear it every day from your mom and your dad, but sometimes you don’t listen. But when they hear it from him, they respect it because they’ve seen him do it. And then he has a way of explaining things to them where they say, ‘Oh, that’s what Coach is talking about.’ ’’
Linebacker Lance Briggs would seem like the logical player to step up in Brian Urlacher’s absence, but the veteran said it doesn’t necessarily work that way.
‘‘Nah, I just need to be me,’’ he said. ‘‘Whatever leadership comes along with me being me is what I’m going to do. We’re already leaders.’’
Old face, new face
The Bears faced off against their former backup quarterback Caleb Hanie last week in the preseason game against the Denver Broncos, and this week they will see former starter Rex Grossman when they face the Washington Redskins. But all eyes will be on the playing time of Redskins first-round pick Robert Griffin III, who went 4-for-6 passing for 70 yards and a touchdown in his preseason debut last week.