By Jeff Joniak-
Brandon Marshall is living a conundrum. If that’s possible, he’s doing it.
He explained that he’s gotten past his Borderline Personality Disorder, and that process was weaved today into a lengthy discussion about his football fabric. He’s a $9.0 million receiver openly asking for the football, even though he knows he can’t always get what he wants.
He knows it’s probably not the best plan for Jay Cutler to throw to a double-or-triple covered Marshall, yet at his core he wants him to do it. He knows Alshon Jeffrey and Martellus Bennett, and others benefit from the coverage he draws, yet he insists it’s a “what did you do for me lately” business.
The best way I can explain it, is that Marshall is acutely aware of his impact as a superstar receiver even without the ball, but he wants the ball, because he thinks it will help the offense, even though he also knows it will help the offense if he doesn’t get the ball as much as he might want.
What matters most in the big picture, is that he’s got a handle on his mental health after what he says has been successful treatment for BPD. What matters most for the Bears, is that Marshall isn’t causing a distraction or slowing down an offense trying to grow rapidly. If Marshall speaks his mind, so be it.
It was just coincidental, but the Bears introduced their special teams unit before the Saints game. However, that unit’s performance was the first thing head coach Marc Trestman emphasized in the list of important “things to do” list to beat the Saints.
Overall, the unit took a step. Coordinator Joe DeCamillas was very pleased with punter Adam Podlesh and the overall tempo set by the coverage teams. One of the four-phase, core guys is Blake Costanzo. He’s coming on strong with a team leading 5 tackles, including four in the last two games. Costanzo, Eric Weems, Craig Steltz, Devin Hester, and Jonathan Bostic are the only players to get all 17 snaps on teams against the Saints. Rookies Marques Wilson, Michael Ford, David Bass, Khaseem Greene, Kyle Long and Jordan Mills also picked up reps.
Monday night on the Bears Coaches Show on WBBM, General Manager Phil Emery spoke at length about the progress of several players most notably he’s very pleased with the growing chemistry between Lance Briggs, D.J. Williams, and James Anderson.
Chemistry is always the big question when signing free agents to one year deals. Williams still has explosion to his game, and Anderson is playing very well, especially in coverage and is taking on a fostering role with rookies Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed by Emery, who has a roster full of big decisions to make when it comes to 2014 and beyond. While the veterans come together at the second level of the Bears defense, the rookies are taking full advantage of learning how to be pros, learning the scheme, and contributing as core special teams players.
4th and Short
Through five weeks, an NFL record 54 games have entered the fourth quarter with a team within seven points. The significance in that numerical nugget is that Marc Trestman believes strongly that you win games in the fourth quarter. Digging a ditch early complicates that belief of course, which is exactly why he was perturbed by the first five possessions against the Saints. Trestman believes Jay Cutler and the types of weapons he has to work with at the skill positions are fourth quarter playmakers that are capable of winning games when it matters most.