Marshall motivated after being snubbed
Not picked for Pro Bowl, Broncos linebacker “adds fuel to the fire.”
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.”
Brandon Marshall is adamant that “I should have been on” the Pro Bowl team this season. He has made 101 tackles.
Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall has surpassed 100 tackles for the second consecutive season.