Brandon Marshall Benched: Now Is the Wrong Time to Make a Statement

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IJanuary 1, 2010

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos stiff arms Tyvon Branch #33 of the Oakland Raiders in the second half at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

On New Year's Day, the ugly immaturity that brought Josh McDaniels to national attention in the Jay Cutler saga showed up again.

This time, it might cost the Broncos a shot at the playoffs.

McDaniels announced Friday morning that he was benching the Broncos' best offensive player, Brandon Marshall, for the team's final regular season game because of insubordination.

Marshall reportedly tweaked a hamstring during practice on Wednesday and did not want to continue with practice.

These two have been at odds before; McDaniels suspended Marshall for most of the team's training camp because of some inappropriate actions taken by the receiver during practice. Marshall is in the final year of his contract.

The two had allegedly patched up their relationship, and there were rumors that Marshall and the Broncos were talking about an extension, but that appears to be over now.

Marshall spoke to Denver media about the benching, reminding reporters that McDaniels never played professional football, and then claiming that he would handle this situation like a professional.

McDaniels needs to grow up. Quickly.

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The Broncos are on the edge of making the playoffs this year, and Marshall is one of the biggest reasons why. He's currently ranked second in the NFL with 101 catches, including his recent single-game record performance against the Colts.

Dogs urinate to mark their territory. When McDaniels ran Cutler out of town and then suspended Marshall in August, he was establishing his authority in the locker room. Not much difference.

There are times to make statements with players. When the playoffs are on the line, it's not that time.

McDaniels will say that he learned this tough-guy act from Bill Belichick, who was recently in the news for similarly sending players home from a practice for which they arrived late.

Yet Belichick played Randy Moss and Adalius Thomas, two of the players in question, that weekend. And the Patriots are comfortably in the playoffs.

Denver has lost their last three games and will need a lot of help this weekend to make the playoffs, but this isn't the NBA, where a draft lottery gives teams two levels of motivation at this time of year.

Benching your best player because of a personality issue and then watching games the second weekend in January is ridiculous.

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