Bears' Marshall continues to sort things out
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The Bears' Brandon Marshall says he's just like any other wide receiver who wants to catch the ball.
JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer
Another day, another chapter in the continuing saga of Brandon Marshall.
For openers, Marshall says he no longer has borderline personality disorder, which caused him to behave erratically on and off the field and led to him being traded twice despite putting up Hall of Fame numbers.
"I'm past that," Marshall said. "It's one of those things where I had to go through it."
Marshall's recent frustration has been repeatedly noted during the Bears' back-to-back losses, including Sunday when he had season lows of 4 catches and 30 yards against New Orleans.
Because of the current frustrations, past blowups and his admission to and treatment of BDP, all eyes always are on the four-time Pro Bowler.
"I love it," Marshall said. "Look at this amazing opportunity. It's cool, I had 30 yards, and that (stinks), but all this attention around me gives me the opportunity to come up here and talk and raise awareness (about mental health).
"I embrace it. I know there are going to be cameras on me; it just makes my platform that much bigger."
But his dissatisfaction with a shrinking involvement in the offense has raised anew accusations of selfishness. Bears coach Marc Trestman doesn't see it that way.
"He's been as important to leading this team as anybody," Trestman said. "He's been doing it all winter. Alshon Jeffery is playing the way he's playing because he spent time off-season with Brandon learning how to treat his body, get himself in shape, how to eat properly.
"(Marshall) helped recruit (free-agent linebacker) D.J. (Williams) and (free-agent tight end) Martellus (Bennett).
"I've seen nothing but a guy who, when he's been on the field, has worked and has been locked in to try to help this football team. He's a verbal guy. He's highly articulate. He has great football intelligence."
Trestman believes Marshall's frustration comes when he doesn't feel as if he's doing as much as he can to help his team win. In the Bears' 3 wins Marshall caught 20 passes for 269 yards; in the 2 losses he caught 11 balls for 109 yards.
"He's typical of elite-level athletes that play the position he does," Trestman said. "When he doesn't get the ball, he's not mad at you. He knows that by catching the football he can help the team win.
"Every receiver or ball carrier of that level is going to feel that way. But that's very, very normal.
"He's been great in meetings. He's asked questions at the right time, in the right place and in the right way. He's been a complete professional for the six months that I've been around him."
Marshall tried to explain Tuesday how frustrating it can be for players at his position, as opposed to some other players.
"The quarterback touches the ball every single play," Marshall said. "He controls the game. Offensive linemen, they don't care about anything outside of their box. Running backs, they're going to touch the ball, like 20 opportunities.
"But with wide receivers, it's (dependent on) coaching, the offensive line, the running game. You only get a few opportunities, and guys want to be productive. I think that comes off as selfish.
"But I don't think any receiver would be happy playing in the NFL and not catching balls. I want to catch footballs. I want to score touchdowns."
Marshal said he's thrilled that Jeffery has emerged in the past two weeks (15 catches, 315 yards, 2 touchdowns) as a legitimate alternative in the Bears' attack because it will force opponents to divert some of the attention away from him.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has known Marshall since they were rookies in Denver in 2006 and probably understands him better than anyone.
"Brandon wants to get to the playoffs," Cutler said. "He wants to win games. He knows that, for us to do that, those two have to help us out in a big way."
And Trestman says the offense will continue to run the same way.
"We haven't changed," the coach said. "We were moving him around, and we'll continue. That's how our offense works. He's lined up everywhere, as all our receivers are.
"So we'll just continue to move him around and throw to the guys that are open in single coverage."
•Follow Bob's NFL and Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.
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