The Bears traded for Brandon Marshall with the idea that he’d be their No. 1 receiver this year, but Marshall doesn’t see it that way.
Marshall said on ESPN Radio in Chicago today that he believes Devin Hester is poised for a season in which he will emerge as the top receiving threat in Chicago.
“I’ve never been around a receiver, never seen a receiver who runs routes like Devin Hester does outside,” Marshall said, via the Chicago Tribune. “He has all the skills to be a great, a Pro Bowl receiver. Not a punt returner — we all know what he can do there — but a Pro Bowl receiver. Honestly, I think he’s going to have a bigger year than me this year.”
Hester is arguably the best return man in NFL history, but he’s never been able to translate those skills into becoming an elite receiver. Last year he caught just 26 passes for 369 yards and one touchdown. But Marshall thinks this year, with new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates putting his stamp on Jay Cutler and the passing game, Hester will be in an offense in which he can thrive.
“I just don’t think he’s been in an environment, a situation offensively that catered to him as a player,” Marshall said. “I think with Jeremy Bates and Jay growing and maturing, I think they’ll be able to put him in a better position this year to where he can probably do damage. I’m excited about everyone else, but the person I’m more excited to see is Devin.”
Marshall also touched on the accusation that he punched a woman at a New York nightclub, saying he’s the victim of a false accusation.
“Whenever I step out, the target on my back is pretty much bigger than 90 percent, 95 percent of the guys in the league because of who I am and what I’ve been through,” Marshall said. “So the situation in New York, it’s unfortunate. You never want to see anyone get hurt, but just the allegation of me balling my fist up and hitting that woman is just a lie. . . . When the judicial system takes its course, I’m very confident I will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”
If Marshall is cleared, he can then put all his focus on being the Bears’ No. 1 receiver. Or maybe being the Bears’ No. 2 receiver, behind Hester.