After the Chicago Bears lost their second — straight — game of the season Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, wide receiver Brandon Marshall expressed how frustrated he was with the offense. Some may have taken it out of context or not seen where he was going with his comments, but the point is, that he wants the ball.
“The frustration comes from when we’re not winning and the offense isn’t moving the ball. It has nothing to do [with] me. It’s about I want to win,” Marshall said. according to ESPN. “I’ve got a nice contract. I’ve been to Pro Bowls. I’ve made All-Pro. I want to win.”
Marshall caught just four passes for 30 yards on Sunday on just five targets, while Alshon Jeffery posted 218 yards — a franchise record — on 13 targets.
“Sometimes, the formula may go to me. But sometimes, whatever is best for the team, that’s what we need to do. So I’m always gonna be frustrated when our offense isn’t No. 1 in the league. I’m always gonna be frustrated when we’re losing. So yeah, I’m frustrated. We just lost two in a row,” Marshall said.
After hearing the comments, quarterback Jay Cutler chimed in on the situation.
“We’re all OK with it,” Cutler said. “I think we’re getting tired with talking about it, dealing with it. We’re frustrated we’re losing games. I think that’s the biggest issue right now. Two-game slide, we just gotta fix that and have everything else fall in place.”
Cutler also knows where his teammate’s heart is at.
‘[Marshall is] human. He wants to be personally successful, but he knows for us to get where we want to go, everyone has to contribute. There’s games where he doesn’t get 10 balls, 12 balls. He might have five and a touchdown and if we win, he’s going to be happy. If we don’t, everyone’s going to work to see what we can do to fix it.”
The bottom line beyond all of this, is that Marshall’s comments are justified and should not be taken lightly by the team and coaching staff. He wants the ball. Why? Because getting him the ball gives the team a better chance to win. It’s not rocket science. Marshall is one of the best all-around wideouts in the game, and getting him the ball more means more points on the board.
Marshall is going to be double-teamed on many occasions, which is a reason why Jeffery broke out Sunday. In the future, Jeffery may be calling for double teams as well. But, for now, the All Pro has to do a better job getting separation as well.
“I’ve got to do a better job of putting myself in position to beat double coverage,” he said.
There were several occasions where Marshall served as a decoy as well, or as an extra blocker. But, head coach Marc Trestman has to figure out a way to get this guy the ball more often. He catches a great percentage of the targets thrown his way. With such a big body and athletic frame, Marshall will win the majority of jump balls thrown his way.
Marshall and Cutler have a clear chemistry, as shown last season first and foremost. Cutler will get him the ball if he knows what’s good for this team. Trestman, though, has to call those plays. There are a few Bears fans out there questioning the play-calling through five weeks, and understandably so. Work is yet to be done in that area.
In the end, if the Bears are winning, everyone is happy. If they’re not, and Marshall is only catching four passes, there’s a problem. Cutler and Trestman should look at the facts and take Marshall’s comments to heart. He doesn’t care about Pro Bowls and awards, the guy wants to win. That should say a lot.
He’s one of the best in the game — get him that ball.