Brandon Marshall chats with The Scores Report

The word “disappointing” was the first thing out of Brandon Marshall’s mouth when I asked him about his first year in Miami. But the fifth-year receiver sees a bright future for him and the Dolphins and he’s not settling for just a playoff appearance in 2011: He’s thinking bigger.

Armed with a new website, Twitter page and a great outlook about his future in Miami, Marshall is hitting the ground running this offseason. The lockout hasn’t stopped him from improving as a player and reaching out to fans that he says have supported him through ups and downs. He even recently called a group of them just to talk and thank them for their ongoing support.

Brandon was also kind enough to talk with us recently about how he’s dealing with the lockout, what it’s like to go through an offseason where he’s actually healthy and what his experience was like in Miami last year. He also named a couple of teammates that are ready for breakout or Pro Bowl seasons and he dropped a big hint about what free agent he’d love to have line opposite him in the Dolphins’ offense next season. (It’s not hard to figure out if you followed Brandon’s career at Central Florida.)

Check out Brandon’s official new website at and his Twitter page @BMarshall19.

The Scores Report: Hey, how are you, Brandon?

Brandon Marshall: I’m good! How are you doing, Anthony?

TSR: I’m great! I just saw that you had a birthday recently.

BM: Yeah, I did.

TSR: I’m a little late but Happy Birthday!

BM: I appreciate that. We had a good time yesterday.

TSR: So what, cake, balloons, pony ride? Do you have a party?

BM: No, my wife had a surprise dinner for me at Maggiano’s at the Hard Rock.

TSR: Very cool. Well I’m a fellow March man – my birthday is next week.

BM: Aries baby!

TSR: That’s right! We’re hardheaded and don’t like to be told what to do.

BM: That’s right.

TSR: (Laughs) Congratulations on the new web site – I like the beat going on in the background.

BM: Yeah, that’s Lindsey. Lindsey picked that beat out. (Editor’s Note: Lindsey is one of Brandon’s managers at EAG Entertainers and Athletes Group, who was also kind enough to set up the interview.)

TSR: Really? I’ll have to tell her she did a nice job the next time I talk to her. So tell me about the site and what it’s designed for. You noted recently that you wanted to reach out more to fans.

BM: It’s nothing too crazy. First though, I wanted to thank you for allowing me to do this interview with you guys. I know you guys are pretty popular.

TSR: It’s my pleasure Brandon, we really appreciate your joining us today.

BM: The website is simple. I’ve been in the NFL for five years and I haven’t been too happy with my interaction with the fans over the last five years. I’m trying to get my foot in the door and try to establish myself as an elite athlete and a great receiver. It’s now where I feel like I’m entering my prime and I’m comfortable with where I’m at in my career, so I have some room to interact more with the people who put me in this position. You know, just in terms of the support they give me – especially through my ups and downs – and sticking with me. I just want to be able to give back to them. Last night I actually did a UStream where I had them text me their numbers on the computer and I called a bunch of fans just to chat with them.

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Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Is the pressure already getting to Brandon Marshall in Miami?

MIAMI - AUGUST 14: Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall  of the Miami Dolphins warms up prior to playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a preseason game at Sun Life Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

It was only one scrimmage.

It was only one preseason game.

The head coach isn’t even worried, so why should anyone else be?

If those who follow the Dolphins want to take any of the above stances when it comes to Brandon Marshall’s recent struggles in South Beach, I wouldn’t blame them. After all, it’s only the second week of the preseason and we’re still weeks away from the games actually counting.

But given his history with behavioral issues, why wouldn’t people be concerned?

Marshall followed up a poor showing in a scrimmage two weeks ago by dropping the only two passes that were thrown to him during Miami’s first preseason game last weekend. Then, and stop me if you’ve already heard this one, during a practice session on Monday he reportedly dropped a pass in the end zone and then punted it over a fence. He proceeded to stand by himself, sulking on the sidelines afterwards.

Head coach Tony Sparano shrugged off the kicking incident by saying, “I didn’t see it, but I got bigger fish to fry…If he drops them and he gets pissed off at himself about dropping them, I’m okay with that.”

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Were the Dolphins wise to commit to Marshall long-term?

The Dolphins have been desperately searching for a true No. 1 wideout for the better part of the last decade. That’s why they ultimately decided to part with two second round picks in order to acquire Brandon Marshall from the Broncos on Wednesday, and why they broke out their checkbook to sign the receiver to a four-year, $47.5 million contract extension.

When Marshall is healthy and happy, there’s little doubt that he brings a lot to the field. At 6’4”, 230 pounds, he has great size and once he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a playmaker in every sense of the word. He’s drawn comparisons to Terrell Owens (in his prime), only it’s T.O. that wishes he had Marshall’s hands.

When he’s healthy and happy, Marshall is worth the money. But keeping him happy has proven to be difficult.

Miami did what they had to do. They had a major need at receiver, so they acquired the best one available and made sure they locked him up to a long-term contract. But there’s no doubt that the Dolphins are taking a huge risk by committing to a player that is about as well behaved as Pacman Jones inside a strip club with $10,000 in his back pocket. The hope for Bill Parcells and company is that Marshall will behave now that he has a long-term contract, but there’s no guarantee of that.

In comparison, the Packers signed Greg Jennings to a four-year, $26.9 million contract in June of 2009. Granted, Marshall is more talented and this is an uncapped year, but when you factor in the risk associated with Marhsall, you can see that the Dolphins are taking a big leap of faith. (For another comparison, Marshall is set to make $2 million more than Roddy White too, whom the Falcons signed to a six-year, $48 million contract last August.)

But again, the Dolphins had no choice. In this case, the risk is worth the reward because Marshall is still young (26), very productive and could potentially be the difference-maker that Miami has coveted for years. If he behaves, the Dolphins won’t live to regret their decision.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Would Marshall be a good fit for the Patriots?

ESPN’s John Clayton was recently asked whether or not Brandon Marshall would be a good fit in New England and this is what the Professor had to say:

“He’s perfect for the Patriots’ offense and would add excitement to the division. Julian Edelman should develop into a nice slot receiver. I don’t know if he will be as good as Welker, but he can be very effective. The Patriots left themselves short of receiving talent last year after Moss and Welker. Adding a great receiver such as Marshall would be intriguing. They hit the jackpot in trades for Welker and Moss. Why not roll the dice a third time?”

I think Marshall would be a good fit for any team. He’s a rare talent and a true go-to receiver in every sense of the word. He has mastered how to use his body to screen opponents from the ball while making plays in traffic and while he’s not explosive, he uses long strides to build speed and run away from defenders in the open field.

The problem is that Marshall is a freaking coconut. His mood changes with the seasons and he’s been a headache off the field since he entered the league. Nobody questions his talent; they question the thing between his ears and that’s why the Broncos have been hesitant to commit to him long-term.

I agree with everything Clayton says about Marshall being a good fit in New England. He would be accountable to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, he would benefit from playing alongside Wes Welker and he would allow the Patriots to get younger at receiver – of course he’d be a great fit. But that doesn’t mean the Pats would want to fork over a draft pick (or multiple draft picks) and a new contract in order to acquire him from Denver. A lot would obviously go into a decision like that, including whether or not Marshall would behave himself after getting paid.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

King: Broncos setting dangerous precedent

Peter King of writes that the Brandon Marshall situation in Denver is starting to resemble what happened with Jay Cutler a couple months back.

The Brandon Marshall story is starting to smell like the Jay Cutler fiasco, with one exception: The Broncos are clamming up. During the Cutler thing, Josh McDaniels was an open book, talking to me four or five times at length about everything — how he had nothing against Cutler, how he didn’t offend him (in his view), about how he wanted Cutler to be his quarterback. But Monday night, I texted McDaniels, who is a big texter. Nothing. Texted his assistant and got back that the coach is laying low and had nothing to say for now. Texted Marshall, who’s also a texter. Nothing. So this one’s going to be contested below ground, it appears.

My feeling is the Broncos will play a harder brand of hardball with Marshall, in part because he’s the second star trying to shoot his way out of town in four months. Owner Pat Bowlen might regret how precipitously the organization acted in rushing a franchise quarterback out of town if this stalemate with Marshall lasts into training camp.

Yes, Marshall wants to be traded. Now the interesting story is whether Denver will acquiesce and, if so, what sort of precedent that will set. Cutler seemed to write a how-to book on The Right Way To Force a Trade. If the Broncos deal Marshall, the next time a star feeling underpaid (Ryan Clady, Ryan Harris, Eddie Royal, i.e.) wants out, the Broncos will have shown they’re weak and ineffective with unhappy players. That’s why I feel strongly they won’t let Marshall out, and they’ll let him sit as long as he wants, even if that means he won’t be in camp by September.

The Broncos are an absolute mess right now. They fire Mike Shanahan and replace him with McDaniels and in the ensuing months, they’re essentially forced to trade their starting quarterback and might have to do the same with their most potent offensive weapon. Granted, this isn’t all McDaniels’ fault, but clearly players are taking issue with the way the team is being run right now.

And King’s right – the team might be setting themselves up for future problems down the road.

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