Brandon Marshall of the Miami Dolphins drops a touchdown pass against the Buffalo Bills. It must have been the fault of the coaches. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
As the new NFL league year started back in March, the Miami Dolphins fired the first round of the player movements, trading top receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third round draft picks. With that move, Dolphins fans were left to wonder what the team was going to do to fill the void (with most still trying to figure it out), while a lot also understood the move. Miami would no longer have to deal with a receiver who was quick to blame his quarterbacks for his struggles, a receiver who seemed allergic to actually making a touchdown, dropping passes or inexplicably running out of bounds all by himself.
Apparently, however, Marshall is not done blaming the Dolphins - and their coaches - for his lackluster performances. In a Chicago Tribune story published yesterday, Marshall said:
"To be honest [when I arrived in Miami] I was like, ‘You know, I need some coaching. Right now I'm coming off my natural ability. I want a coach who's played the position or played the game before, who knows and understands the receivers position. So they can take me and my world to a whole other level.' I haven't had a good coach as far as that receiving position as long as I've been in the NFL . . . As far as technique and someone who understands the game, the last time I had a good receiving coach was DJ McCarthy in college."
Davone Bess has credited those same Miami receivers coaches with turning him from an undisciplined receiver from Hawaii's pass happy system into one of the best slot receivers in the league. Brian Hartline has developed under those same receivers coaches. Julius Pruitt, who has looked good through OTAs and minicamps this year, again, is developing under those receivers coaches.
But Marshall could not get the coaching he needed to be able to catch a pass thrown to him when he is wide open. Coaching must have been the difference when he fell out of bounds. It must have been the coaches' faults that he had to throw Chad Henne and Matt Moore under the bus. Somehow, Marshall must have risen above the horrible receivers coaches to make the Pro Bowl last year.
As much praise as Marshall got for stepping up and sharing his boarderline personality disorder diagnosis, and speaking about his life dealing with it, he now needs to learn to step up and take responsibility for himself. It's time for Marshall to stop blaming everyone, except himself, for evey struggle he has.
But, at least for Miami fans, that's someone else's problem now. Good luck, Chicago.