AL HAMNIK: Marshall's whining a distraction slumping Bears don't need

2013-10-07T18:15:00Z 2013-12-12T22:30:03Z AL HAMNIK: Marshall's whining a distraction slumping Bears don't needAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
October 07, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

Here we go again with another Brandon Marshall Watch.

The slumping Bears need this like they need facing Drew Brees every Sunday.

Their paper-thin defensive line is being held together with duct tape and a prayer after losing starting tackles Henry Melton and Nick Collins to torn ACLs.

Oh, and the run game has vaporized.

Those should be top stories around Lake Forest, not a whining superstar wide receiver who wants his number called on every play.

Brandon Marshall is a media darling, a great quote, and an inspiring story of someone able to balance their pro career and celebrity status despite a split personality disorder.

But he's often a distraction.

He can be a walking controversy, which is why Channel 5 signed him up for their Sunday night Bears post-game show. Did you think it's because he looks good in an $800 suit? C'mon.

Marshall was at it again after Sunday's disheartening 26-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Other than a garbage touchdown in the closing minutes, with the game already decided, Marshall finished with four catches for 30 yards.

And then he began to vent, like he always does when things don't go his way.

"We know teams are going to try to take me out of the game," Marshall said. "But I have faith in the guys in this locker room and the coaches upstairs that we're going to do what's best for the team."

TRANSLATED: Get the ball to me, still.

"It's tough. It's really tough. I'm just trying to keep my head up and keep myself ready and be available whenever they call my number," Marshall said.

TRANSLATED: Hurry up, will ya, before I climb out on that ledge.

"If you beat yourself up too much or get too down or too frustrated at the play calling or the coverage, the ball comes your way and you drop it," Marshall added. "I'm proud of myself (Sunday) for that. Sorry for patting myself on the back, but there's not too much I can hang my hat on. We lost. I got shut out."

TRANSLATED: I'm the No. 1 receiver. Treat me like it.

Where is all this angst really coming from?

"When we're not winning and the offense isn't moving the ball. It has nothing to do with me. It's about I want to win," Marshall said.

"I have a nice contract, been to Pro Bowls, made All-Pro. But I'm always going to be frustrated when our offense isn't No. 1 in the league."

TRANSLATED: I hold the key, dude. Feed me, feed me.

Coach Marc Trestman, already having much on his mind, responded to Marshall's lament with eyebrows raised.

"I'm going to stay away from that one," he said, jokingly. "Obviously, we've targeted him frequently (54 times). He's the most targeted guy the first month of the season. And when we don't, that starts with me."

TRANSLATED: It depends on the pressure put on quarterback Jay Cutler and the double coverage Marshall will always have, so shut up

"He's human. He wants to be personally successful," Cutler said on Monday. "But he knows for us to get where we want to go, everyone has to contribute."

Thursday night, the Bears host a New York Giants team that is 0-5 for the first time since 1987.

If the Bears lose their third straight and Marshall again is a non-factor, he may need to be gagged.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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