The first day Brandon Marshall took the practice field for the Denver Broncos, he made an impression on someone not easily impressed.
Champ Bailey, a perennial Pro Bowl cornerback for Washington and then Denver, came over to coach Mike Shanahan with a touch of bewilderment about how the 2006 draft had played out.
“[Bailey] said, ‘What happened? How did we ever get this guy in the fourth round?’” Shanahan recalled. “So when you get a Pro Bowl player that realizes the talent of a guy like Brandon Marshall right away, the upside a guy like Brandon brings to a team. One thing about Brandon, he’s a fun guy to be around. He’s got an infectious personality. He’s a difference-maker.”
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Shanahan will be coaching against two of his former offensive linchpins Sunday when the Bears face Washington with Marshall and Jay Cutler, also drafted by Shanahan and the Broncos in 2006 but in the first round.
Marshall has not been the only current Bear about whom Shanahan was quizzed.
Coach Marc Trestman, doing his due diligence on his quarterback, sought out Shanahan’s thoughts on No. 6.
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“I saw Marc, I believe it was over at [the NFL Scouting Combine this spring] the first time we talked,” Shanahan said, “and he asked me about Jay and my experience with him, and I shared with him the exactly what I thought of him, and there was nothing but positive. I’m a big fan of Jay Cutler’s.”