Mar­shall mo­ti­vated af­ter be­ing snubbed

Not picked for Pro Bowl, Bron­cos line­backer “adds fuel to the fire.”

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Cameron Wolfe

Bran­don Mar­shall of the Bron­cos watched closely as the Pro Bowl play­ers were an­nounced Dec. 22. All he could dowas shake his head af­ter it was re­vealed that he wasn’t one of the four in­side lineback­ers cho­sen.

Mar­shall felt dis­re­spected. It was some­thing hewanted and felt he de­served. A week later, it still was on his mind.

He talked to “Mon­day Night Foot­ball” an­a­lyst and for­mer NFL coach Jon Gru­den, who told him that he de­served to be picked.

“It’s a lot of mo­ti­va­tion be­cause I thought I should have been on it,” Mar­shall said. “It just adds fuel to the fire for next year and the play­offs to get my name out there so peo­ple know.”

Mar­shall has eclipsed 100 tack­les for the sec­ond straight sea­son.

He and line­backer Danny Tre­vathan be­came the first Bron­cos duo since D. J. Wil­liams and Brian Dawkins in 2009 to each make more than 100 tack­les in a sea­son.

“Him and Danny have been amaz­ing,” cor­ner­back Chris Har­ris said. “Those guys have had Pro Bowl years.”

Mar­shall has been one of the NFL’s best cov­er­age lineback­ers, but this sea­son he has be­come a com­plete line­backer and a more vo­cal team­mate.

“He’s a big- time leader on this foot­ball team,” Bron­cos coach Gary Ku­biak said. “He’s a young player that all of a sud­den the team started to grav­i­tate to as we went through the sea­son. Our guys re­spect him.”

Mar­shall, 26, is the Bron­cos’ sig­nal- caller on de­fense and one of their best play­ers. It was Mar­shall who stripped the ball from Kansas City’s Ja­maal Charles, lead­ing to Bradley Roby’s re­cov­ery for the win­ning touch­down in the fi­nal sec­onds of the Bron­cos’ 31- 24 vic­tory over the Chiefs in Week 2.

Mar­shall broke his fin­ger on the play, an in­jury he will get re­paired in the off­sea­son.

That was one of many out­stand­ing plays made by the fourth- year pro, but it holds more sig­nif­i­cance as Den­ver holds a onegame lead over Kansas City in the race for the AFC West ti­tle.

Mar­shall’s as­cent is just as im­pres­sive as his play. Two sea­sons ago, his ca­reer was on the brink of be­ing over. The for­mer fifthround draft pick had played in only six games over two years with Jack­sonville, making only one tackle. He was re­leased.

Den­ver’s man­age­ment gave Mar­shall a shot. He earned a start­ing role— and even though not a starter for the Pro Bowl, he re­ceived an alternate spot on the team.

“It’s dope be­cause to come from be­ing cut three times and coaches not think­ing I can play in the NFL to even be­ing an alternate in the Pro Bowl, for peo­ple to rec­og­nize me like ‘ This guy is a player, he’s for real.’ That’s huge, man,” Mar­shall said.

“I just kept work­ing. I’ll con­tinue towork. I’ve had that chip on my shoul­der since I left Jack­sonville, and I don’t think it’s go­ing any­where.”

The chip on his shoul­der is larger than the screwin his foot. He had Lis­franc surgery in the off­sea­son and doc­tors placed the screw in his right foot to re­pair the lig­a­ment.

Be­fore this sea­son be­gan, that screw broke. Mar­shall con­tin­ued play­ing. He said he some­times feels it mov­ing around in his foot. The pain comes and goes, but Mar­shall said he won’t let it take him out.

He got hit with an­other blow Mon­day against Cincin­nati when Bron­cos de­fen­sive end Derek Wolfe rolled up on his an­kle late in the third quar­ter af­ter Mar­shall made a tackle on Ben­gals tail­back Gio­vani Bernard.

The mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing exam came back neg­a­tive, but an an­kle sprain would be hard to play on at Mar­shall’s po­si­tion with only a five- day turn­around.

He did not prac­tice Thurs­day and his avail­abil­ity for Sun­day’s home game against San Diego looks doubt­ful, but don’t be sur­prised if Mar­shall tries to play.

“I wouldn’t bet against him,” Ku­biak said. “That’s the type of guy he is.”

AAron On­tiveroz, The Den­ver Post

Bran­don Mar­shall is adamant that “I should have been on” the Pro Bowl team this sea­son. He has made 101 tack­les.

He­len H. Richard­son, The Den­ver Post

Bron­cos in­side line­backer Bran­don Mar­shall has sur­passed 100 tack­les for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sea­son.

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