Found October 09, 2013 on
Football and Futbol:
When the Chicago Bears signed Brandon Marshall last year, they knew what they were getting. A top five reciever in the league who dropped the occasional over the shoulder pass and has some mental health issue (specifically Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD). Marshall, like many recievers, is a delicate balance between production and off the fiel drama. With Brandon this is a bit more delicate of a subject because his off the field comments can be traced back to his BPD. So it should be no surprise that in recent weeks, Marshall has been unhappy about the ball not being thrown his way as much as he’d like. Understandable since he’s the #1 reciever and
double coverages are enough to make any one throw a hissyfit.
However, coming from Brandon Marshall, this is ironic. Because over the summer he was pretty adamant about the fact that TOO many receptions and TOO many hits is what contributed to his offseason knee injuries. He was also prettyvocal about the need for other targets to step up in 2013. Offseason acquisiton Martellus Bennett and 2nd year reciever Alshon Jeffery were supposed to be the answer to his prayers. In his last two games, Alshon has 15 catches for 325 yards not including 10 reeptions and a record 218 yards
against the New Orleans Saints. He’s also recorded two touchdowns in his last two games. Brandon Marshall, however, is
struggling with only 30 yards and four receptions against New Orleans. All of a sudden, now that the spotlight is off him (as he requested), he seems to be missing it. The thing he needs to realize is that Alshon’s been so successful recently BECAUSE of Brandon. The two’s fortunes are not mutually exclusive.
Alshon Jeffery is picking apart defenses because of the over-commitment to Brandon Marshall. Instead of sulking about this, Marshall should see this as the biggest compliment a defense can give to a reciever. This guy is SO GOOD that he requires a corner AND a safety. It’s the football equivalent to being intentionally walked in baseball, or being covered by LeBron James when you’re playing the Miami Heat. It’s basically a way of saying that ”if we lose today, we will make sure it’s not because of you.” And as of right now, that is the biggest contribution Marshall can make to the Bears. It may not be as pretty as a 10 catch 200 yard game, but it’s just as effective.
And if Alshon is the real deal and starts racking up yardage as efficiently as he’s done the past two weeks, then guess what: the double coverage goes to Jeffery and Marshall is open again. And if they are both doublecovered, then: well, the field is basically open season for the rest of the recieving corps that includes capable recievers such as Matt Forte, Earl Bennett, and the aforementioned Martellus. The Detroit Lions are currently having fun with the same sort of tug of war in their offense, only between Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson instead. Read that here.
If Jeffery’s production holds up, then of a switch in coverage from Marshall to Alshon is inevitable. The only question is: Will Brandon Marshall be happy he’s getting the ball again? Or instead will he be offended that he’s not the focus of defensive game plans anymore.
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