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Arkush: Speaking his mind only hurting Bears' Marshall

Published: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) talks with Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) after their NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Chicago. The Lions won, 21-19.

Is it just me folks, or is it time for Brandon Marshall to zip it?

With all the challenges and problems these Bears are dealing with, wouldn’t they be better off with almost anybody else making himself the face, and voice, of the lockerroom than Marshall?

This isn’t about Marshall, the receiver. He’s been one of the most consistent guys on the field all season and the best player on the team.

It also is important to note that, for a guy who came to Chicago with a ton of off-the-field baggage, Marshall has done a wonderful job of reinventing himself as a problem-free, positive contributor to the community.

You have to feel good for him and proud of him. Hopefully, all his personal drama is behind him.

But somehow there always is more with Marshall and, as a team leader and spokesman, he’s in way over his head and might be doing as much or more damage as he is good.

The second Jay Cutler got hurt in Washington, the Bears brass knew there was a danger of his rushing back too soon and they did all that they could – and seemingly enough – to nip it in the bud and proclaim it a minimum four-week injury that would probably take a bit longer than that to heal.

Who exactly did Marshall think he was helping by putting himself at center stage and announcing the Bears medical people, front office and coaches had no idea what they were talking about, and that Cutler would absolutely be back sooner?

And he didn’t say it just once. By continually proclaiming his medical expertise, he pressured Cutler to prove him right or risk having his manhood questioned again, and once Cutler was on board they left Trestman and Phil Emery no choice but to give it a go when Cutler incorrectly decided he was ready.

I have no doubt Cutler has a high ankle sprain and I’m not suggesting it was caused in any way by his coming back too soon from the groin injury.

But I do have eyes, I’m not stupid and there’s nothing anyone can say to convince me Cutler wasn’t bothered from very early on in the Lions game by the groin injury.

Had the Bears waited the minimum four weeks on Cutler, he might be much closer to 100 percent now with the Ravens coming to town rather than out. And while there’s no saying they would have beaten the Lions with Josh McCown, they probably would have had a better chance than they did with a clearly limited Cutler.

Marshall had no business being involved, and instead he was right in the middle of it.

Now he’s doubling down on dumb and embarrassing by insulting the Detroit Lions, a team that has beaten the Bears twice this season.

Marshall told ESPN radio after Sunday’s game that the Lions and Detroit were the Bears’ and Chicago’s little brother who wanted to play with them and their friends and his answer was “No, you can’t go, Detroit Lions. Sit back. Sit in your little city. Fix your financial problems and all of that, you know. You can’t come with us right now.”

How does he not get that they just kicked his butt, for the second time in six weeks, and in addition to himself, he’s embarrassing his team and all of its fans?

What kind of genius does it take to make the Lions sympathetic characters? And what exactly might the victims of Detroit’s urban blight think about a guy who might not be able to find work himself in any other industry but thanks to his God-given gifts is making $9 million a year to play a game, making light of their pain?

Let me put it another way. Is Marshall making you proud to be a Bears fan and helping his teammates to succeed?

• Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him at harkush@shawmedia.com.

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