DAVIE, Fla. While it's uncertain exactly when Miami receiver Brandon Marshall expects to be ejected Monday during the Dolphins' game at the New York Jets, he didn't leave much else in doubt.
Seemingly out of nowhere Thursday, Marshall said he hasn't been himself this season for the 0-4 Dolphins. He touched upon his passion for the game and whether he's been relying too much on his natural ability.
As for the part about getting thrown out, Marshall first said, "I'll probably get kicked out after the second quarter." Later, Marshall amended that, saying his "goal is to get thrown out midway through the second quarter."
It all started when Marshall was asked after practice at the Dolphins training facility to assess his performance this season, and he called it "average." Naturally, he was asked to elaborate and about how he plans to improve his play.
"I'm going to have fun on Monday Night Football," said Marshall, who went public at the start of training camp about having been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. "That's all I can say. I think the past four games have been tough for me trying to control some things and, hey man, I'm just going to let it out. I don't care if they have two or three cameras on me. I don't care if I have penalties. It doesn't matter. I'm going to let it all out.
"I don't care what you guys write. I don't care what the commentators say. I'm just going to play football. That's what I'm best at. That's when I play emotional. That's when I play with passion, and you guys will see that on Monday Night Football. So I don't know if it's throwing a football 15 yards in the bleachers and getting a 15-yarder or punting the ball and getting thrown out of the game. But something's going to happen. I'll probably get kicked out after the second quarter."
It was suggested to Marshall that he certainly must be joking about being ejected. He claimed he wasn't.
"No, I'm not joking," said Marshall, who has caught 22 balls this season for 313 yards. "I'm serious. If they want to fine me, it'll probably be like a 50,000 fine. But I'm going to play. That quarter and a half I'm out there, I'm going to play like a monster. I might get in a fight with (Jets linebacker) Bart Scott. (Jets defensive back Antonio) Cromartie, we pretty much matured our relationship and grew a little bit. We used to fight . . . If that happens, it happens. We'll see."
Marshall had revealed spending time during the offseason at facility in Boston due to borderline personality disorder. Marshall touched upon that when asked why he hasn't believed he's turned his play on this season.
"Dealing with the things I've been dealing with, I've been trying to control too much instead of being myself and play ball," said Marshall, a six-year man and two-time Pro Bowler. "I know there's going to be cameras on me. I think after camp and me coming out and saying I worked on some things this offseason, no I'm not on no medicine or anything like that. I've worked on some things and I've gotten better at it. I think every game there's one guy just charged with following me around to track my emotions. So I'm going to give them what they want. I'm going to play with a lot of emotion and passion, and I'm going to be that monster, not 'The Beast (which has been his nickname).'
"I talked to some of my group members that were with me in Boston. It kind of disappoints me when they say, I had a bad day.' It almost feels like when you go through the things that we went through, you feel like you've got to be perfect. So that puts you in this bubble and it's kind of uncomfortable. But I think you're not human if you don't have bad days or you feel like you're not supposed to make mistakes. So I've been living in a bubble a little bit trying to control myself instead of being me. You've got to be able to turn that switch on and off On Monday Night Football, I'm going to turn that switch on and be a monster When I catch a ball I might bang my head with a football. I might get into a shoving match with somebody. I might get a penalty. But I'm going to play like I usually play."
One wonders if ESPN will have to come up with a new promo for Monday's game in order to highlight "The Monster."
As for Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, who was briefed on Marshall's interview by team officials, he believes Marshall was "kidding." But then Sparano amended that to say he was "50 percent kidding."
"I know one thing about that guy, he's not going to do anything to hurt this football team," said Sparano, apparently not planning to play the second half without Marshall. "That's what I know. I know people in that locker room are important to him and this guy has worked really hard He wants to be more passionate with the ball in his hands and he wants to be more passionate and doing all the things that are necessary to help us win."
Sparano said he hasn't talked to Marshall in depth lately about the being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
"I think you end up working through it yourself and Brandon worked through some of those things himself," Sparano said. "He really handled himself well. I've been proud of what he's done and how he's done it."
Marshall told reporters last week he wouldn't speak to the media but would have "something really juicy" this week. But Marshall claimed what he said Thursday wasn't premeditated.