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Cutler says he will watch over Marshall

The Sports Xchange

--If Jay Cutler is to be believed, there's nothing for Bears fans to worry about regarding the off-the-field behavior of recently acquired, three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Marshall and Cutler played three years together in Denver (2006-08) and put up some spectacular numbers in their final two years together with the Broncos. Marshall caught 206 passes for 2,590 yards, while Cutler threw for 8,023 yards and 45 touchdowns.

But hours after the Bears on Tuesday traded a pair of third-round draft picks for the 6-4, 230-pound Marshall, news surfaced about his involvement in an altercation last weekend in which he is alleged to have punched a woman in the face.

"I talked to Brandon (Tuesday), and I think he was bummed about it and the perception and everything, of him getting to Chicago and that being over his head," Cutler said Wednesday morning on the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN-Radio (AM 1000). "But let's not just judge him quite yet. I know he has a checkered past, and Brandon would be the first one to stand up and admit to that, but I know deep down he's a good guy. He's made some mistakes, but going forward I see nothing but bright things for the guy."

Marshall's past includes a rap sheet longer than a Cutler Hail Mary pass to Johnny Knox, but last summer he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and was taking strides to control his often-volatile reactions, which are a symptom of the disease.

Cutler is more focused on regaining a weapon that he has lacked in his first three years with the Bears, since he was acquired in a trade from the Broncos.

"I couldn't be more excited," Cutler said. "Me and Brandon have some catching up to do. He's got to work in the offense; we have to be patient. Expectations are going to be a little bit higher than they were without him, which is fine, but we still have to produce on the field and we have to make it happen. It can't be forced; it has to come naturally."

For that to happen, Marshall will have to stay away from the alcohol- and domestic-related problems that have at times overshadowed his enormous physical abilities and elite production on the field.

Cutler said he would help keep his No. 1 receiver away from late nights in the clubs if necessary.

"That will be my sole mission," Cutler said. "I don't know how this stuff happens to him, it just does sometimes, and it'll be fine. I'm fully confident.

"I'm going to keep every eye that I have on him, making sure he's doing the right thing. He wants to do the right thing. It's just a shame that his past still haunts him a little bit, but that's what happens. Everyone makes mistakes, and Brandon's still learning form them and growing. We got a heck of a guy; we got a heck of a player."

--Brandon Marshall got off to a dubious start as a Bear.

The superstar wide receiver, who was acquired from the Dolphins on Tuesday (March 13) for a pair of third-round draft choices, will be arriving with even more baggage than originally believed - and there was already a boatload of it. Last weekend, Marshall is accused of punching a woman in the face at a nightclub, an incident that Bears general manager Phil Emery addressed with a 30-word statement early Wednesday morning.

"Both the Bears and Dolphins were aware of what occurred over the weekend," Emery's statement read. "We decided to move forward with the trade. We have high expectations for Brandon as a Bear."

The altercation occurred at a New York club, where Marshall's wife, Michi Nogami-Marshall, was hit in the head with a bottle during a melee that neither of the Marshalls were involved in, according to Marshall's attorney Harvey Steinberg.

Marshall took his wife to the hospital for treatment and later, according to the New York Post, a woman, Christin Myles, filed a police report saying that Marshall struck her in the left eye.

Steinberg later released a statement that read: "On March 12, 2012 Brandon Marshall was the keynote speaker at a charitable event in New York. After the event was over he, his wife and close friends attended a function at a local club. While at the function a fight broke out NOT involving Mr. Marshall or his friends. While attempting to leave to avoid the melee Mrs. Marshall was struck in the face by a thrown bottle. She suffered serious injury.

"While attempting to leave and take his wife to the hospital, the mayhem continued outside. Finally Mr. Marshall was able to take his wife to the hospital where she was treated for serious injuries. Mr. Marshall is hoping to assist authorities in regards to this matter."

Last summer, Marshall revealed that he had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at Boston's McLean Hospital after several domestic incidents with his wife and other alcohol- and anger-related problems. He is currently in treatment for the illness and is filming a documentary about his struggle.

That diagnosis came three months after Marshall was stabbed in the stomach by his wife and hospitalized for two days. Marshall was also in the group of Broncos players involved in a dispute at a nightclub that resulted in defensive back Darrent Williams being fatally shot in the neck on Jan. 1, 2007.

--Just one hour before he was to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent, cornerback Tim Jennings re-signed.

Jennings, 28, started 28 games for the Bears over the previous two seasons after he was cut by the Colts following the 2009 season. The 5-8, 185-pounder has just three interceptions in the past two seasons, but he was fourth on the team last season with 87 tackles and tied for second with eight pass breakups.

"I didn't want to go anywhere else," Jennings told the Bears' website. "I think the deal was fair. It is a great opportunity for me to come back and help the guys compete for a championship."

--Quarterback Josh McCown will be back with the Bears after agreeing to terms Wednesday (March 14) morning on a one-year contract.

He is expected to compete with last year's fifth-round pick, Nathan Enderle, for the No. 3 job behind Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell, who was signed a day earlier. McCown, who had been out of football last season and was coaching at a high school, was signed last Nov. 23 after Cutler suffered a fractured thumb. He played in three games and started the final two, compiling a 1-1 record. McCown completed 35 of 55 passes (63.6 percent) for 414 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 68.3. He also ran 12 times for 68 yards, a 5.7-yard average.

The 6-4, 213-pound nine-year veteran has started 33 games with the Cardinals (2002-05), Lions (2006), Raiders (2007), Panthers (2008-09) and Bears (2011) after entering the league as a third-round selection (81st overall) by Arizona in the 2002 draft.

"Brandon is not a bad guy at all. He's a good guy; he means well. It's just he's been in some sticky situations, some things he probably shouldn't get into. I think it definitely hit home with this. I don't expect Brandon to be in any more situations like that for the rest of his career and probably for the rest of his life." -- Then-Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, after Marshall was suspended for one game by the NFL in 2008 for his off-field transgressions.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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