Brandon Marshall is rarely at a loss for words. But the sense on Wednesday was that he got himself into a well-intentioned explanation and then couldn’t figure how to get himself out gracefully.
It started innocently enough: The wide receiver who began his career under Mike Shanahan was asked to compare him with the coach Marshall hopes to finish his career with as a Bear.
“Totally different,” Marshall said. “Both great coaches, but totally different styles.”
Marshall’s “troubles” started as he went about explaining those different styles.
“The good thing about being here and playing for coach Trestman, it’s all about business, and that’s good,” Marshall said. “He also does a great job of trying to get guys to build authentic relationships, and that can be tough in this business.”
The trouble with compliments, though, is that when you praise Coach A, you can sound like those compliments don’t apply to Coach B.
“With Coach Shanahan, he had guys in the locker room like the Rod Smiths, [Jake] Plummer was still there, those guys really took control of the team. It was [Shanahan’s] team, but those guys really led the way.”
Marshall began to laugh as he realized how this might be sounding. So he suggested how the story perhaps ought to be set up. Or at least he tried to.
“The headline should be ‘two totally different coaches, both great, but different styles,’” Marshall said. “You have coach Trestman over here, is just a whiz, that guy with tons of books, tons of pens, he’s a brainiac.
“You have coach Shanahan over here, who’s just… .”
So, wait, Trestman is a cerebral guy who builds relationships, and Shanahan isn’t these things?
Marshall dissolved into laughter and gave up. Because his feelings toward Shanahan are no less than those about Trestman, just…different.
“[Shanahan] is definitely someone I think that would be a friend, a mentor, a coach for the rest of my life,” Marshall said. “He’s that type of guy, and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to play for him.”