Target monster Marshall says new offense 'gets everyone involved'
Brandon Marshall, coming off a 118-catch season on a bad offense, thinks the new Bears' attack will be more balanced and productive. He and new tight end Martellus Bennett have been studying the playbook on their iPads.
He set team records for catches and receiving yards, but it didn’t translate to a productive offense. The Bears ranked 28th in total yards and 16th in points (23.4), thanks in large part to 10 non-offensive touchdowns.
Marshall has seen the new offensive playbook from coach Marc Trestman and coordinator Aaron Kromer, and said “it gets everyone involved.” The hope in Chicago is Jay Cutler won't keep locking in on Marshall.
“Oh my gosh, I’m in love with it,” Marshall told the Chicago Sun-Times.
‘‘Martellus [Bennett] and I sat down and went through the formational stuff and started challenging each other,” he said, referring to the Bears’ new tight end. “It was exciting to go through, and it’s pretty cool to have a partner.’’
Added Marshall: ‘‘It’s so stimulating and it gets everyone involved, and that’s exciting to me. Because the better Alshon [Jeffery] is, the better I’ll be. The better Earl [Bennett] is, the better Martellus will be. The better Martellus is, the better Matt Forte will be. And so on and so forth. It’s just awesome.’’
Marshall, who had his hip scoped in January, started running in a pool two weeks ago and running on a track last week, according to the paper. He said he'll start the season 100 percent healthy, something he hasn't done the past two years, and is excited to "see how much better I can be."
Marshall caught 118 balls for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. You can't really blame Cutler for throwing to Marshall so much; Jeffery's rookie season was sabotaged by injuries and the Bears lacked a playmaking tight end.
Marshall was targeted 192 times, fourth-most in the league. The top three -- Reggie Wayne (212), Calvin Johnson (204) and Wes Welker (200) -- played on teams that threw a lot more. So the passing games of the Colts, Lions and Pats weren’t nearly as imbalanced as Chicago’s.
Here’s a look at how Marshall dominated targets, as a percentage of his team’s throws.
1. Marshall, 39.9 percent
2. Wayne, 31.7 percent
3. A.J. Green, 31.1 percent
4. Andre Johnson, 29.6 percent
5. Michael Crabtree, 29.4 percent
Let's call it the Blair Walsh revenge game
Jeremy Lane also stood near Bennett along with pass rushers Cliff Avril and Frank Clark
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