Brandon Marshall was visibly upset throughout the Chicago Bears loss to the San Francisco 49ers Monday night, and his frustration escalated near the end of the game when he couldn't corral a pass along the sideline.
First reports said Marshall became involved in a verbal altercation with teammate Matt Forte following the play, but the receiver denied it saying it was someone else.
"No, it wasn't Matt. It was actually another guy," Marshall said. "After that play on the sideline, I was a little frustrated because I didn't make the play. They told me to get back, and I actually hurt my shoulder. So I was telling the guy I hurt my shoulder.
"I actually told them, 'I'm grown.' It was one of those games where things were going wrong for us. I have to do a better job when I'm frustrated of not letting it show. I definitely let the team down. I should've made that play, and I didn't."
The argument wouldn't make much sense to the casual observer, but Marshall said the Bears use the phrase "I'm a grown man," when mad.
Marshall hauled in a season-low two passes for 21 yards and the lone touchdown for the Bears, but saw at least two defenders on every play. On occasion, Marshall was doubled, and always had a safety lurking over the top. His performance was comparable to Week 2 of the season, when the receiver was shut down by the Green Bay Packers.
"They played two-man," Marshall said. "They tried to take me out. When I'm out wide, it's easy for them to do that. They didn't do anything special. I have to do a better job of just trying to beat double coverage and look at some different techniques and ways I can get open."
The lack of time Jason Campbell had to throw the ball also attributed to Marshall's lack of production. Campbell rarely had more than three seconds to throw the ball, and was sacked six times filling in for the concussed Jay Cutler. Bears coach Lovie Smith typically avoids excuses, but acknowledged porous protection limited Marshall's chances.
"It's hard getting the ball to him when you don't have a lot of time; you start with that," Smith said. "They know of course he's our primary target. So balls will come his way. We didn't play well. Brandon was a part of that. I don't think they did anything out of the ordinary to take him away."
Coming into the game, Marshall was averaging more than seven catches per game and posted five 100-yard games, including two in a row. You know he's anxious to have Cutler back in action as Cutler will force him the ball, just trying to make a play.
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