Brandon Marshall: A Love/Hate Relationship

Zach Greubel@@ZachGreubelCorrespondent IIJanuary 5, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 13: Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The Colts won 28-16.(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After a 6-0 start to the 2009 football season, the Denver Broncos lost eight of their last ten games. This was due in large part to one of the most difficult schedules in the league, but their collapse can also be attributed to lack of team chemistry and off-field issues.

Most of these off-field issues involved Broncos star receiver Brandon Marshall, who has been in the public spotlight ever since he entered the league.

Marshall has been arrested four times since 2006, or four more times than most of his teammates. His most recent arrest came during the 2009 offseason when he was charged for disorderly conduct.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was on the brink of suspending Marshall for the first three games this season because of the incident, but charges were dropped.

It wasn't the first time Marshall suffered a suspension. He was suspended for one game in 2008 for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Marshall has not gone one season without running into some kind of trouble with the law. It's a wonder he hasn't sustained greater punishment for the extent of his misbehavior.

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Not only has Marshall been in trouble with the law, but also with his teammates and coaches. There was no greater evidence of this than this offseason when Marshall "threw a fit" during a practice and even went so far as to punt the ball away in an act of frustration.

It seems as though Brandon Marshall has not outgrown his adolescent stage. He has been participating in childish, unprofessional acts ever since he stepped foot in the league.

Marshall's latest attention-getter came during the Broncos' most pivotal week in the seasonthe week before they played their last game against the Kansas City Chiefs with a playoff berth on the line.

It was reported that Marshall arrived late for a therapy session for his pulled right hamstring. Head coach Josh McDaniels felt that Marshall was exaggerating the injury. When all was said and done Marshall was benched for the Broncos' last game.

McDaniels said it was more because of accountability and lack of heart than because of the injury.

With all the mishaps Marshall has been a part of the last few seasons, he is still one of the most talented receivers in the NFL.

He has totaled 307 catches, 3,710 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns over the past three seasons, some of the best numbers in the league over that time span. Not to mention his 21 catch, 200 yard, two touchdown record-breaking performance against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14.

Marshall is one of the most talented receivers in the league, but his character is one of the most lacking. He has yet to figure out that his responsibilities and actions off the field are just as important as those on the field. He has been taught this many times in the past, but ignorance and arrogance always seem to get in the way.

Sure, Josh McDaniels could have been more lenient and started Marshall for Sunday's game, but the bottom line is that Brandon Marshall needs to understand that a reality check is just as important as a paycheck.

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