From Jay Cutler's perspective, Bears fans should have nothing to worry about regarding the off-the-field behavior of recently acquired, three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Marshall and Cutler played three seasons together in Denver (2006-08) and put up some spectacular numbers in their final two years with the Broncos. Marshall caught 206 passes for 2,590 yards, while Cutler threw for 8,023 yards and 45 touchdowns.
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But hours after the Bears traded a pair of third-round draft picks Tuesday for the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall, news surfaced about an altercation last weekend in which he is alleged to have punched a woman in the face.
No charges have been filed, and Marshall's attorney contends his client was not involved in the melee at a New York club where Marshall and his wife had gone after a charity function.
"I talked to Brandon (Tuesday), and I think he was bummed about it and the perception and everything, of him getting to Chicago and that being over his head," Cutler said Wednesday morning on the Waddle & Silvy Show on WMVP 1000-AM. "But let's not just judge him quite yet. I know he has a checkered past, and Brandon would be the first one to stand up and admit to that, but I know deep down he's a good guy. He's made some mistakes, but going forward I see nothing but bright things for the guy."
Marshall's past includes a rap sheet nearly as long as a Cutler Hail Mary pass to Johnny Knox, but last summer he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and was taking strides to control his often-volatile reactions, which are a symptom of the disorder.
Cutler is more focused on regaining a weapon that he has lacked since he was acquired by the Bears three years ago in a trade from the Denver Broncos.
"I couldn't be more excited," Cutler said. "Me and Brandon have some catching up to do. He's got to work in the offense; we have to be patient. Expectations are going to be a little bit higher than they were without him, which is fine, but we still have to produce on the field and we have to make it happen. It can't be forced; it has to come naturally."
For that to happen, Marshall will have to stay away from the alcohol- and domestic-related problems that have at times overshadowed his physical abilities and elite production on the field.
Cutler said he would help keep his No. 1 receiver away from late nights in the clubs if necessary.
"That will be my sole mission," Cutler said. "I don't know how this stuff happens to him, it just does sometimes, and it'll be fine. I'm fully confident.
"I'm going to keep every eye that I have on him, making sure he's doing the right thing. He wants to do the right thing. It's just a shame that his past still haunts him a little bit, but that's what happens. Everyone makes mistakes, and Brandon's still learning form them and growing. We got a heck of a guy; we got a heck of a player."