A lot of Brandon Marshall chat time during the regular Thursday 10 a.m. visit with The McNeil & Spiegel Show on WSCR-AM 670. And for good reason.
Mac and Spiegs shared my sense that Brandon Marshall and even Lovie Smith were talking as much to the team as to the media on Wednesday. Smiths repeated references to the Bears 8-5 record were perhaps reminders less to the assembled media corps than players who may not feel like winners after dropping four of five. Not a bad point for Smith to stress.
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Marshall flung down challenges to the Green Bay Packers defensive backs, which is fine, but also declared that this was the biggest game of his career.
That was refreshing. Not all games are created equal and this one isnt. Props to Marshall for putting his emotions out there, possibly in a way making it OK for other lesser lights to do the same. Emotion spikes on game days are not bad things.
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The guys referenced our discussion earlier this season about a point Id made as to whether Brandon Marshall catching 100 passes in this offense would be a good thing. Marshall is indeed every inch a 100-catch receiver (101, actually) and it hasnt been a good thing for this offense.
The problem obviously isnt what Marshall is doing; its what others are not. And I suggested a possible reason why Marshalls very strengths as a receiver may play to a shortcoming in Jay Cutlers style as a quarterback.
Besides the question of whether Cutler has real trust in his receivers, Cutler is a see-it-throw-it quarterback. His default setting is to wait a tick longer for a receiver to come open rather than throw to a spot at a time with the solid trust that a Devin Hester, Earl Bennett or whomever will get there when the ball does.
Marshall is so good, however, that Cutler can legitimately think that if he keeps a play alive and waits another tick longer, Marshall will be open. Marshall will be. He works. He works the entire play. Given enough time, against most coverages, he will win.
So Cutler waits and sure enough, 15 is open. Or if hes not, all things being equal, even a well-covered Marshall may be a better choice than a slightly open Kellen Davis.
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Mac and Spiegs wondered how I was leaning for outcome this weekend. Hard to pick against the Packers. Mac assessed both teams as having a little bit of hanging on at work, given the injuries all around.
My take, however, is that whenever you have Aaron Rodgers under center, you are by definition never just hanging on.