AL HAMNIK: Bears' Marshall must focus on season, not his stat sheet

2012-12-03T18:00:00Z 2012-12-04T21:35:44Z AL HAMNIK: Bears' Marshall must focus on season, not his stat sheetAl Hamnik Times Columnist
December 03, 2012 6:00 pm  • 

College and pro teams need a cooling off period after difficult losses, though some athletes never learn about discretion.

Sunday, it was Brandon Marshall's turn.

As the Bears' newest player spokesman, Marshall has an opinion on everything, good or bad.

He quickly became a media favorite because he doesn't treat microphones and TV cameras like a speed trap and quickly slow down.

That's self-confidence, but not common sense.

Seattle had beaten the Bears in overtime, 23-17, handing Chicago its third loss in the last four games. Marshall had a monster day with 10 catches for 165 yards, but never made it to the endzone.

Coach Lovie Smith wasn't too distraught.

"Brandon Marshall, time after time, just really made plays which kept us in the football game," Smith said.

Earlier in the week, Marshall talked about how excited he was for his matchup with Seattle's big cornerbacks, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. He was all smiles, saying he loved how quick and aggressive the Seahawks were on defense.

And days before that, quarterback Jay Cutler's long-time buddy and primary target told us winning was the most important thing to him, that he could have 20 yards in receptions and it wouldn't matter if the Bears took home a "W."

Sunday, we saw another side of Marshall that wasn't so flattering. Maybe he was simply caught up in the moment. Judge for yourself.

"This game was personal," he said afterward. "Any time a team goes one-on-one, I take it really personal. I take it as a sign of disrespect.

"I'm going to tell you the truth. I wanted to have a big game and also wanted to win. I wouldn't have been satisfied with a win and 20 yards, because that's the type of player I am."

Back up the truck. It's about t-e-a-m, remember?

"I want to compete and I want to dominate," Marshall said, "but those (Seahawks) played their tail off and they won and you have to give it to them.

"You never know, maybe we see them again, maybe we don't, but I still have years left in me and there's still next year."

What does that mean? Next year? You've got four must-win games left this season, and then the playoffs.

Later that night on his TV show, Marshall interrupted the co-hosts when they referred to Browner and Sherman as great corners, calling them good but not the best.

Blame social media, which he follows like the Bible. Everyone's telling him he has 91 of the Bears' 217 receptions and nearly half their 2,436 receiving yards.

Brandon Marshall has always been drawn to the spotlight like a moth to high wattage. Playing in Chicago is his biggest stage yet.

He is not a bad guy. On the contrary, he and Cutler are the offense and at 8-4, there is still hope for a postseason run by the Bears.

But Marshall's infatuation with personal accomplishments and often contradicting himself needs to be tabled down the stretch.

Stop blowing kisses in the mirror, Brandon, and focus on the task at hand.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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