Reid Fischer's World of Rants

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Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Marshall’

Marshall to Miami – Now let’s move on

Posted by mizzou1028 on April 16, 2010

By now you should know the specifics of the deal: Brandon Marshall has been traded to the Miami Dolphins for a pair of second round picks, one in next week’s draft (number 45 overall) and another in 2011.  At first I thought the Broncos got robbed, that they didn’t get enough in return for Marshall.  When looking at the receiver market around the league however, the Broncos actually did as well as could realistically be expected.  The Cardinals only received a third and fifth round pick for Anquan Boldin, and the Steelers got only a measly fifth round pick for Santonio Holmes.  It could be more than a reasonable argument that Marshall has not accomplished as much as those two wideouts, but at the very least Marshall is in their class from a talent standpoint.  While it would have been nice for the Broncos if a team signed Marshall to an offer sheet and had to surrender the tender of a first round pick, that just wasn’t going to happen because teams knew he could be had for less.  That’s just the way it works.

I know many Broncos fans are feeling frustrated because they feel like the talent of the team is being destroyed (Tony Scheffler is almost certainly on his way out too, perhaps to rejoin Mike Shanahan in Washington).  While I admit I am a little concerned about who will be there to throw the ball to in September (Eddie Royal MUST have more than 37 catches for starters), I think the move was so inevitable that Marshall’s presence in the locker room would have caused more of a distraction than it would have helped.  Let’s make no bones about this, Marshall wanted out of Denver.  He may have put on a happy face last year, and he did get his 100 catches, but he was never playing for the team.  Let’s not forget he did earn a one game suspension from Josh McDaniels at the beginning of last season, and only when he returned from that did he even start playing hard.  Let’s also not forget that he couldn’t figure out a way to get on the field in the finale against Kansas City, even though it was obvious (and even stated by McDaniels) that other players were gutting it out with worse injuries.  The fact Marshall was too hurt to play in a do or die game where the playoffs were on the line but managed to be on the field in the completely meaningless Pro Bowl just a few weeks later says a lot about his character or lack thereof.  Marshall was only concerned with a big payday and as far he was concerned he had his 100 catches.

As far as I’m concerned (I said this about Jay Cutler as well), if a player doesn’t want to be here, get rid of him.  Marshall had several reasons for wanting out of Denver, not the least of which is the Broncos weren’t about to reward him with a large contract when he is just one more transgression away from a major suspension by Roger Goodell.  Marshall’s off the field behavior has been questionable at best (which is probably the biggest reason he was a fourth round draft pick), and I frankly shudder to think of what might happen when Marshall takes his new paycheck to South Beach.  Marshall is certainly a very talented receiver, and I’ll be the first to say they just don’t fall off the tree, but in the NFL a good locker room environment is just as important as the talent on the field.  In this case, an unhappy Marshall was just going to cause more of a distraction.  Think of Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, and other receivers with large personalities.  How many playoff games have those receivers won?  Think about the distractions those receivers cause.  Good receivers are important, but good character is more important.  That’s why the Broncos made this trade, and really why they felt they didn’t have much choice.

I do think this a team with many more questions than answers.  I think this is a very important draft for the Broncos, for they still have major holes at guard and center along the offensive line.  They also could use another linebacker in the 3-4 scheme.  Speaking of linebacker, they need to figure out a way to make Elvis Dumervil happy.  Dumervil missed out on a big payday thanks in large part to the uncapped year as a result of the collective bargaining agreement not being renewed.  The Broncos did address the defensive line in the offseason and that should be much improved.  It will also be interesting to see if the Broncos try to tab a receiver somewhere in the draft, and of course how the quarterback battle between Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn shakes out.  The Broncos are definitely a team with major questions, but I am always the eternal optimist.  Let’s see what happens next week in the draft and we’ll go from there.

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Defense saves day again, and so does Marshall

Posted by mizzou1028 on October 5, 2009

MarshallI feel like in a lot of ways I could just cut and paste my recap the Oakland and incorporate it here to review the Broncos’ 17-10 win against the Cowboys.  For starters, the Broncos would not have won this game without another terrific performance by the defense.  I don’t care who they’ve played (frankly I’m not so sure Dallas is a playoff caliber team, but even the most skeptical of national pundits have to start giving Denver’s defense its due).  The Broncos are allowing a mere 6.5 points per game through their first four.  That’s less than a touchdown per game folks.  You’re going to win a lot of games if you keep doing that.  The Broncos once again won the turnover battle (2-1), managed to hold the Cowboys to just 74 yards rushing (this after Dallas came into the game ranked number one in rushing, having gone over 200 yards in each of their previous two games).  sacked Tony Romo five times (including two more from Elvis Dumervil, who now has a staggering 8 on the season).  and most importantly stepped up big in the final sequence of the game.  Dallas had first and goal at the 8 with less than a minute to play, and the Broncos managed to keep Dallas out of the end zone thanks to Champ Bailey, who knocked passes away in the end zone on third and fourth down.

There is no question that the entire defense has really outperformed all expectations set for them at the start of the season.  I remember back in April when virtually everyone was criticizing them left and right for not focusing on the front seven in the draft (for the record the one guy they did take, Robert Ayers, had a sack against the Cowboys).  The Broncos have answered all the questions about the front seven by doing an outstanding  job against the run and getting pressure on the quarterback.  The secondary has also been great, with Bailey having a nice bounce back season so far after a below par season a year ago.  The additions of Andre Goodman and Renaldo Hill have also been solid, and Brian Dawkins’ leadership has been the glue that has held the secondary and indeed the entire defense together so far.

While there is no question that the defense was the biggest reason the Broncos’ won the game against Dallas, the play of the game was courtesy of none other than Brandon Marshall, who up until last week had been virtually non existent from the Broncos’ offensive attack and was quickly building a reputation of selfishness for his behavior on and off the field.  With less than two minutes to go in the game, Marshall made an acrobatic catch on a high throw by Kyle Orton, outleaping Cowboys cornerback Terrence Newman to snag the ball.  Then, Marshall took off running and showed why he has the potential to be a truly elite receiver in the NFL.  With no fewer than five white Cowboys jerseys surrounding him, Marshall made several juke moves worthy of a video game, stayed on his feet through several changes in direction, and managed to race untouched into the end zone for what ultimately would be the winning touchdown.  This kind of play is the reason the Broncos kept putting up with Marshall in the offseason.  The Broncos know what kind of talent he is and what kind of receiver he can be.  If this is the Brandon Marshall the Broncos will get the rest of the season, this team could be in line for some very special things indeed.

Some other thoughts from Denver’s win over the Cowboys:

– The Broncos are now one of four teams to begin the year 4-0 (the Saints, Giants and Colts are the other three).  While this is no guarantee for future success (see the Bills last year, starting 4-0 and completely flaming out), it generally is a good harbinger of a playoff berth, provided the Broncos can keep up their current level of play against a schedule that is getting tougher by the week.

– I think many national folks and even Broncos fans have to now start giving Josh McDaniels the benefit of the doubt.  I was appalled at predictions of 4-12 and 3-13 for this team at the start of the season.  Clearly there is no way now that anyone with any credibility cab say that this team will win less than 8 games.

– The Broncos do need more production from their other receivers going forward the rest of the way.  Eddie Royal caught just two passes for 16 yards Sunday, while Jabar Gaffney caught just one pass for eight yards.  They did get three catches each from Tony Scheffler and Daniel Graham, but the leading receiver was actually Correll Buckhalter with five.  The Broncos will need more production from their receivers in the long run.

– Kyle Orton continues to quietly post decent numbers.  Sunday: 20-29 for 243 yards and two touchdowns, no turnovers.  Orton has still yet to turn it over in four games.  It’s really hard to argue against him right now, especially the Broncos keep winning with him under center.

– The number of penalties against both teams Sunday was definitely on the high side (10 against the Broncos, 7 against the Cowboys).  This is obviously something that needs to be cleaned up for both teams going forward.

– I think the Cowboys are a tough team to figure out.  They have a big, physical offensive line and can run the ball effectively.  However, Tony Romo showed the full range of his inconsistency on Sunday, making a great play on a 4th and 3 late to keep the Cowboys alive, but also missing several open receivers earlier in the game.  I did find it odd that Romo was not communicating with his receivers during the fourth quarter, instead opting to sit by himself on the sideline between series.

– I find it to be interesting irony that Mike Shanahan could be coaching the Cowboys in 2010.  I do think Dallas has a chance to compete for a playoff spot this season, but it also wouldn’t shock me if they finish 8-8.  If they miss the playoffs again, does Wade Phillips keep his job?  It will certainly make for interesting rumor going forward.

– Big game again for the Broncos on Sunday, as they host the Patriots.  McDaniels against Belichick. The Broncos revamped defense against Brady and Moss.   Throwback jerseys.  It sounds like a broken record, but it will be another opportunity for the Broncos to make a statement.

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Quick Opinion: Marshall Will Stay, and He Will Have a Big Year

Posted by mizzou1028 on August 3, 2009

It is extremely difficult to believe that football season is fast approaching and that teams have already opened training camp.  This of course includes the Broncos, who are dealing with the distraction that is Brandon Marshall.  Despite his beef with the organization, Marshall has actually shown up on time, which is more than rookies Knoshawn Moreno and Robert Ayers can say, but he has missed lots of action already due to injury.  Nevertheless, it is no secret that Marshall demanded a trade in June, and many think he will still get it before the regular season starts.  I don’t.  Not only will Marshall be a Bronco this season, but I believe he is about to have a monster season in Josh McDaniels’ system.

The biggest issues that Marshall has with the Broncos are a lack of trust in the medical staff (owning to the fact that he played through a hip injury last season that he feels the team misdiagnosed), the changes in quarterback, and the departure of Mike Shanahan.  The medical staff issue is understandable, although it certainly seems as though they are being much more cautious with Marshall early in camp this year.  There obviously isn’t anything Marshall can do about the changes on the coaching staff and at QB, but I feel that once Marshall sees first hand what this offense could be capable of doing, he will find himself in no shortage of opportunities to make plays.  Josh McDaniels is a very good offensive mind.  Different from Shanahan maybe, but an excellent offensive mind nevertheless.  I also think that this offense will be much better than people realize.  While Kyle Orton does not have the raw talent of Jay Cutler, he has shown a much better attitude and seems to be a good fit for McDaniels’ system.  I also think that once Moreno shows up (and it had better be any day now), he will have a tremendous impact in the running game.  Couple those things with that fact the Broncos also expect big things from Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley, et al, and Marshall should find this offense very much to his liking.

The bottom line on Brandon Marshall is that he is one of the most talented receivers in football.  His off the field issues have been well documented, but if he can ever get his head on straight he has a wonderful future in the NFL.  Given his issues, he is lucky not to be suspended by the league this season, and he is really playing with fire if he is trying to get a lucrative contract extension right now.  I believe in the end Marshall will realize he needs to have a good year  and also stay out of trouble in order to earn the extension and raise he is seeking.  I expect Brandon Marshall to be highly motivated when the regular season rolls around, and that will be terrific news for the Denver Broncos.

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This is Getting Ridiculous!

Posted by mizzou1028 on June 16, 2009

Tell me this isn’t happening again.  Another soap opera at Broncos headquarters.  Once again a key player is at the center of it, a player who has loads of talent.  Heck, this player can certainly be described as a very unique talent.  The player in question is unhappy, and has reportedly demanded a trade.  Sound familiar?  This did not work out as the Broncos hoped with Jay Cutler.  How will it work with Brandon Marshall?  Unfortunately, the Broncos might be about to find out.  Mr. Marshall did not show for the team’s mandatory minicamp over the weekend.  

Marshall is unquestionably the Broncos top receiver.  He has caught 100 balls each of the past two seasons.  He has breakaway speed, and an ability to make plays after the catch.  He has certainly made a statement in Denver after being selected in the fourth round of the 2006 draft.  Marshall is due to make $1.2 million this season, which sounds good but ranks 58th among wide receivers in the league.  Marshall is also reportedly upset with the team’s medical staff for failing to accurately diagnose his hip injury last season.  Marshall had surgery on the hip in the offseason, but played through the injury in the second half of last season.  Our friend Adam Schefter, who will be joining ESPN in August, told us this afternoon on KOA that Marshall demanded a trade last weekend when he met with owner Pat Bowlen.  

Jay Cutler has already forced his way out of Denver with unruly behavior.  Does Marshall think he can do the same?  Or is Marshall merely posturing to try and get a contract extension?  Seems to me that Marshall is acting very entitled considering his off the field behavior the past few years.  Marshall is extremely lucky he wasn’t suspended by Roger Goodell again for the coming season, and it seems to me that he doesn’t have the leverage to try and argue for an extension.  From a football standpoint, Marshall was among the league leaders in dropped balls last season, which is of course not a good category to be atop the league in.  Either way, Marshall is evoking memories of the whiny Cutler by acting like a child.  At least Marshall had the courtesy to meet with Bowlen face to face unlike Cutler, but the actions are still the same.  Not showing up for a required team activity is a very selfish action no matter how you slice it.  This is particularly true when a new offense is being installed and most the personnel around you is also new.

The Broncos say they have no intention of trading Brandon Marshall.  Really there isn’t any reason for them to, especially considering they would be unlikely to get fair value in return for him.  The Broncos have already fined Marshall $35,000 for missing the three day minicamp, and they can continue that action if he holds out in training camp.  At some point they will also be able to recoup signing bonus money.  If the Broncos can’t get fair value for Marshall, and it says here they won’t, then they will hold on to him.  At some point, based on how these things have gone historically, Marshall will show up.  If he doesn’t, he could quickly find himself on the same path as the last Bronco wideout to hold out.  This guy was a first round pick who was also flashy at times, and is now with his third team since leaving Denver.  His name?  Ashley Lelie, who will forever be associated with mediocrity in Denver.

Note to Marshall: Don’t be like Ashley Lelie.  Let’s not have a repeat of the Jay Cutler fiasco.  If it is, we have further evidence of poor character being brought in by the previous regime.  Josh McDaniels and company might have more cleaning up to do in any case, so let’s hope they can salvage something for the on field product in the fall.

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Football Thoughts

Posted by mizzou1028 on August 6, 2008

– I think the Broncos are darn lucky that Brandon Marshall wasn’t suspended for more games than the three handed down by Roger Goodell.  Considering the suspension will likely be reduced to two games after Marshall undergoes counseling, the Broncos should be thankful they aren’t losing their star receiver for half the season.  Granted, Marshall will miss two division games (at Oakland and home versus San Diego) but at least he isn’t out for a longer period of time.  Marshall is still poised to have a big year on the heals of a 102 catch season, and hopefully he has learned his lesson about toeing the line off the field.

– The Broncos have a couple of injury concerns already in camp that haven’t been discussed much.  One is center Tom Nalen, who sat out the final 11 games last season after tearing his right biceps, and is currently recovering from off-season surgery on his left knee.  Nalen will likely miss the entire preseason (let’s be honest – that’s not really important) but it doesn’t seem for sure as though he’ll be ready for the opener at Oakland.  The fact that Nalen is missing time now also begs the question as to whether he’ll be able to finish the season healthy.  Nalen is the leader of the offensive line and his absence was definitely noticeable last year.

– The other injury is to rookie running back Ryan Torian.  Torian was carried off the field this morning after being hit by Jamie Winborn and Nate Webster.  Torian suffered a broken elbow and will miss 6-8 weeks, meaning at the earliest it will be late September before he can return to action.  Even though he was selected in the fifth round, the Broncos had high hopes that Torian could become the feature back in the offense because his running style is a perfect fit for the team’s running scheme.  Torian will now miss the rest of camp and the preseason, which is more important for a rookie because he needs that period to adjust to the rigors of the NFL, plus it might actually impact Torian’s chances of making the team. 

– As far as Brett Favre is concerned, I think the Days of Our Lives theme music is appropriate here.  This has become such a circus it’s ridiculous.  At this point, if the Packers are that convinced that Aaron Rodgers is their guy and they don’t want Favre around, they should just release him.  Of course, they’re not going to do that because Favre would sign with division rival Minnesota immediately if not sooner.  It’s funny, I’m tired of hearing about Favre, but on the other hand I’m dying to see what happens next in this saga.  It has gotten to the point where it’s so crazy that it is rapidly becoming entertaining and tiresome at the same time.  Regardless of how it turns out, any Favre game against the Packers will be must see, wherever Favre ends up playing.  That is, if he ends up playing.

– It will be interesting to see how this affects Favre’s legacy.  He’s a sure fire Hall of Fame lock for sure, but will he be remembered for this drama at the end of his career?  I am intrigued to see how Favre will be recalled in ten, or even five years.

– It is also interesting how because of the Favre saga, we haven’t heard much about the other 31 teams in the league besides the Packers.  Maybe this is one of the reasons why it doesn’t quite seem like it should be time for football yet.  Of course, it is only preseason right now, so really we’re still a month away from any football that matters, but I don’t generally remember football sneaking up on me as much in previous years as it has this year.  Maybe it won’t seem that way once the Broncos have their first preseason game (or as I prefer to think of it, glorified controlled scrimmage) on Saturday night.

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