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Bears’ Marshall says effort is about wins, not receptions

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 9:15 a.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 1)

CHICAGO (MCT) — Brandon Marshall wants the ball, but he says he would trade more catches for more victories any day.

The Bears’ receiver made that point clear Wednesday when he mentioned how “egos are checked at the door” within Mike Tice’s offense.

“Yeah, I want the ball all the time. I want the ball every single play,” Marshall said. “But I’m wiser now (and) know that there are going to be weeks where a team is going to take me out the game. And there may be weeks where Alshon (Jeffery) might be hot. It may be one-on-one coverage all around the board, but it may be Alshon’s day or Devin (Hester’s) day.

“As long as we’re winning games, I’m happy. I have a nice contract. I’m on a nice team. Pretty secure. The only thing I don’t have is wins. That’s what checks my ego at the door; being in this position and knowing that we have a chance to win and do big things.”

The Bears are 3-1 thanks, in large part, to Marshall’s contribution. He leads the team with 23 receptions for 352 yards and two touchdowns. The next closest receiver in terms of receptions is the rookie Jeffery with 12.

As the Bears prepare for Sunday’s visit to Jacksonville, Fla., Marshall stands seventh in the league in receiving yards and tied for 14th in receptions. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall expects a challenge from 6-1, 195-pound Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis.

Jay Cutler expects defenses to focus their attention on Marshall every Sunday.

“Teams are going to try to take ‘B’ away and make those other guys make plays,” Cutler said. “That’s what we’re seeing a lot of. But we have a lot of belief in (all) our guys.”

Against the Cowboys on Monday night, Marshall compiled a season-high 138 receiving yards on seven catches a touchdown against what was supposed to be the league’s best passing defense. He strolled into the end zone on a 31-yard pass from Cutler.

“A lot of green grass,” Marshall said of the play. “I don’t know the last time I had a play like that, that was that wide open.”

Although Marshall seems focused on the field, he still has some off-the-field distractions either to ignore or conquer. The latest involved criticism from Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s “First Take” about Marshall’s troubled past.

Smith, although somewhat understanding of Marshall’s battle with borderline personality disorder, made reference to how Marshall’s volatile behavior contributed to the shooting death of Broncos teammate Darrent Williams in 2007. Smith brought up the 24 incidents Marshall was involved with over the years, as detailed Tuesday on ESPN’s “E-60” piece.

“I’m saying if you have old incidents dating from Oct. 31, 2004, to March 11, 2012 — if you have eight years of a track record of transgressions, I need to see more than a few months of a transformation,” Smith said.

Marshall apparently responded to Smith’s rant with this tweet: “Yellow journalism is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news to sell papers or create controversy.”

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