Pro football

Brandon Marshall calls Bears a "life-saving, career-saving" experience

2014-05-22T18:00:00Z 2014-06-09T01:12:36Z Brandon Marshall calls Bears a "life-saving, career-saving" experienceAl Hamnik, (219) 933-4154
May 22, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

LAKE FOREST | Brandon Marshall's news conferences should be pay-per-view. Like a pinata, you never know what will shake out.

The Bears' wide receiver met the media Thursday to discuss his three-year, $30 million contract extension but most of the 30-minute gathering dealt with Marshall's absolute joy over being a Bear.

Seated beside general manager Phil Emery and with coach Marc Trestman in the audience, the nattily-attired Marshall spent 10 minutes saluting each member of the organization, including the groundskeepers and team equipment manager.

It was an emotional merry-go-round as he spoke about his battle with borderline personality disorder and how being traded to Chicago from Miami was both "career-saving" and "life-saving."

Marshall smiled, laughed, got choked up and often stammered or paused in finding the right words to express himself. He was as genuine as the Liberty Bell.

Upon spotting Trestman in the back of the media room at Halas Hall, Marshall almost lost it.

"I'm so thankful that you're here, Coach ... Coach is an amazing guy," Marshall said. "He's a man I look up to. He's a man that I would like to be one day.

"He puts us in position every single day to grow as men. To be honest, I don't think we'd be sitting here if it wasn't for Coach and me believing in him and his coaching staff.

"I'm at a loss for words when I talk about Coach ... he knows how to lead Alpha Males. Denver is a first-class operation. Miami has a lot of tradition. But this is the best."

Trestman was listening intently in the shadows, arms folded, nearly hidden by the televsion cameras.

"This is why I love him so much. We fly in, 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, he's the last man off the plane, pushing in chairs and picking up trash," Marshall said.

"That's the type of guy he is. He teaches everyone how to serve, not by words, but by his actions. It's a trickle down effect. Coach, you really are affecting every single man and woman in this building."

The extension makes Marshall a Bear through 2017. The nine-year veteran has gone over 1,000 yards receiving seven straight years and has 23 touchdowns in just his first two seasons with Chicago.

Marshall also thanked his wife, Michi, saying: "You were my inspiration to get the help that I needed. I thank you for standing by me. You showed me how to love. You showed me how to serve."

He then turned to long-time agent Kennard McGuire.

"I was lost in Denver," Marshall said. "I needed support, not an agent. You saw something in me."

With that, Marshall reached for a Bears-orange pocket handkerchief and wiped his eyes.

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