Before every game in the NFL, the head coaches and two players from the two opposing teams hold conference calls with the local media from the other side. Usually, it is either a star from the opponents, or it is a player who has ties to the other team. For the Miami Dolphins this week, the player with whom the media spoke met both criteria, Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Marshall, a five time Pro Bowler, played for the Dolphins from 2010-2011. His third Pro Bowl appearance came during those years, in a game in which he was named the MVP. He caught 167 passes with Miami for 2,228 yards and nine touchdowns. He also was never a fan of then Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne.
During Wednesday's conference call, he did not pull any punches about his former teammate, who now backs up rookie Blake Bortles for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I think we were a quarterback away from having a team. I think our defense were studs. Offensively, maybe we were missing a piece on the O-line. But Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, myself, Reggie Bush, I really thought we had a young group of guys that really could have done some special things if we came together. Unfortunately, we didn't have that opportunity."
Marshall was traded from the Dolphins to the Bears just before the start of the 2012 free agent period, just after the Dolphins hired head coach Joe Philbin. When asked if he was surprised about the trade, Marshall replied, "I was surprised but I was happy at the same time once Jeff Ireland told me where I was going. I thought it was best for me and my family."
With the move to Chicago, Marshall rejoined his former Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, a pairing that clearly complements both players. Since arriving in the Windy City, Marshall has made the Pro Bowl following both seasons, as well as being a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2012. Through six games this season, he has 25 receptions for 302 yards with five touchdowns.
The Dolphins and Bears kickoff in Chicago's Soldier Field at 1pm ET Sunday.