By Bill Swartz
One-thousand and seventeen yards yards on 81 catches, eight of them for touchdowns. That's a pretty awesome resume for Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall. Don't you wish he had picked the Seahawks a few years back?
In 2010, after four seasons and two Pro Bowls with the Broncos, Marshall was shopping his talents and did pay a visit to Seahawks headquarters in Renton. He wound up signing with the Miami Dolphins instead.
Brandon Marshall has already secured his sixth straight 1,000-yard season. (AP)
Marshall, traded to Chicago during the offseason, is having what he calls an "amazing time" as the Bears' No. 1 pass catcher. He says it's a family atmosphere in the locker room. That includes his close relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler, a connection which began in Denver.
"Are any of you married?" Marshall asked Seattle reporters. "If you are, you know how Jay and my relationship is. It's just like a marriage with some hard times and some good times. We just try to fight our way through the hard ones and enjoy the good ones."
There are times, Marshall said, when he and Cutler just draw up a pass play in the dirt on the sideline. More often than not they follow the advice of two coaches who have ties to the Seahawks, offensive coordinator Mike Tice and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates.
"He (Bates) is the piece that puts it all together. Like I said, it's a marriage and there are some times he sits in between us and I have to say, 'Tell Jay this, because I'm not talking to him,'" Marshall joked.
The Bears make no secret they want to throw the ball to the 28-year-old Marshall. He's already been targeted more than 120 times in 11 games. Marshall hopes the Seahawks play their normal man-press coverage on him Sunday.
"I love one on-one-coverage, so if they're going to do that then it's going to be fun out there," he said. "This is what the NFL is about, man-on-man. If they are going to stick to their plan, that one-on-one coverage, then I have a ton of respect for that."
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is anxious to face Marshall in single coverage as well.
"It's one of those classic battles of a big corner against a big receiver," Sherman said. "He has a classic 'dead leg', where he kind of stutters, comes up, and then he gets going again. It's a game within a game to figure out all the tricks he has. The way Cutler looks for him, it's going to be a lot of fun."