Has Brandon Marshall Lost the Respect of His Denver Bronco Elders?

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IAugust 29, 2009

SEATTLE - AUGUST 22: Quarterback Brandon Stokley #14 of the Denver Broncos is sacked during the game against the Seattle Seahawks on August 22, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Following his recent practice field hissy fit, Denver Broncos wide receiver may have gone far beyond anything any fan ever thought possible.

In addition to losing the respect of virtually every respectable NFL fan, coach, or executive, he may just have lost the respect of his role models and elders on the Denver Broncos team.

When asked if he was surprised at Marshall's recent suspension, veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley responded by saying: "Not really, not with his attitude and how he was acting."

Stokley added: "Something had to be done. They made the decision. We're moving on, and hopefully in a few weeks, when he's back, he'll be ready to contribute."


2008 offensive co-captain and tight end Daniel Graham also weighed in on the Marshall situation.

"We've had a few conversations and Brandon, he's running his own ship," Graham said. He's doing what he feels is best for him. Now I'm just making sure, as a leader on this team, that we stay focused."

A very interesting choice of words by Graham, to say the very least, especially the implication that Marshall is "running his own ship."

This entire off-season has been a self-imposed disaster for the Pro Bowl wide receiver. 

Even Colorado Hall of Fame wide receiver and Bronco great Rod Smith, a former player who has devoted a great deal of time and effort mentoring Marshall, distanced himself from the wide receiver when he made a cameo at the Broncos camp earlier this summer.

One thing though, is for sure.

If Stokley and Graham's comments are to be taken as a general consensus of the feelings of the entire team, then this whole fiasco has proved that the players are on McDaniels' ship, not Marshall's or any of their own.

McDaniels said on Friday that he does not know how long Marshall will be on his 'ship' at all.

"I'm not sure necessarily if I think it will or I think it won't [work out]," McDaniels said. "I'm just hopeful that it will, because obviously he's a talented football player that we'd love to have pulling in the same direction as the other 79 guys that go out there and work their tail off."

And if he is not?

If Marshall is unwilling to pull in the same direction as the 79 other guys, where do the Broncos go from there?

While suspending him for the regular season would go a long way if the Broncos were committed long term, it does not seem to make much sense anymore for a guy who they may want to trade at the end of this season.

Which is why it makes perfect sense to suspend him for the final two games of the pre-season.

This gives Marshall time to study his playbook and vie for a fresh start when he returns to the team on Sept. 6.  Also, it allows him time to go and face the temptations of doing something else stupid or getting in trouble with the law.

While two weeks may not seem like a long time, for Brandon Marshall, it could seem like a lifetime.

For when Marshall returns to the Broncos, he had better show this team that he is serious about the "fresh start" he has said he wants, and he certainly needs to keep his nose out of trouble.