Brandon Marshall, who made regular appearances on “Inside the NFL” last season, doesn’t really feel like talking about the Chicago Bears.
Marshall, who spent three seasons in Chicago, gets asked about the Bears a lot – and as a media member, he has no problem being honest. Every time he talks about the Bears, however, it becomes a headline.
“I don’t know how long I’ll last in this industry because you have to be a politician, and for me, I don’t believe in politics,” Marshall said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I’m a very transparent and honest person. I know sometimes being colorful, you always have a seat and sometimes you’ll have a lot of backlash – and for me, I’m fine with that. I’ve made a lot of money playing football, and I just want to be true to myself. That’s who I am and I would never change that.”
Marshall, now with the Jets, is the first active player to have a regular in-season gig with the media. He flew to New York on his off days last year to shoot his segment for “Inside the NFL.”
“Last year was tough,” Marshall said. “When you’re the first in a space and you’re the first one to do something, you get a lot of push-back. We knew we were going to face a lot of critics, especially if I wasn’t producing or the team was losing. When you look at my career, I’ve been productive. I’ve caught a bunch of balls. Always over 1,000 yards. So we felt like if we just did close to what I was doing, there wouldn’t be any problems. But the worst thing that could have happened happened last year – and it just wasn’t a good situation.”
Marshall had 61 receptions for 721 yards and eight touchdowns – this after catching 218 balls for 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns in the previous two seasons combined. The Bears closed the season on a five-game losing streak and finished 5-11 and in last place in the NFC North.
Marshall was traded – along with a seventh-round pick – to the Jets in March for a fifth-round pick. Now Marshall is playing with – not just against – some of the players he’s critiqued in the past.
It’s a tough line to walk.
“You’re right,” Marshall said. “It’s tough at times and you have to be careful. So my No. 1 thing when I’m on television or on radio is always protecting my team. I’m never going to put my team in a compromising situation. And the No. 2 thing is being real, and the third is understanding my seat. My seat is giving the fans an inside look of an active player – how we think, what we do, what makes us tick, what’s out triggers, how we may even view a situation that we’re talking about on the show. So I live in that space. I’m a voice for the players.”