ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Brandon Marshall is embracing the opportunity to make a name for himself with the Denver Broncos.
If he can do that, maybe fans will stop mistaking him for the Chicago Bears’ 30-year-old star wide receiver with the same name, the one who wore out his welcome in Denver five years ago.
The Brandon Marshall now playing in Denver was drafted in the fifth round out of Nevada in 2012 by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who would cut him three times before the Broncos added him on their practice squad last year and then activated him for the season finale and the playoffs.
The 24-year-old linebacker is getting first crack at filling in for Danny Trevathan after Denver’s leading tackler broke his left knee at Tuesday’s practice.
This Brandon (Markieth) Marshall gets confused with that Brandon (Tyrone) Marshall “all day, every day,” he said. “Twitter, Instagram, you name it.”
On Instagram, fans see his face, his jersey and his No. 54, “but they still ask me, ‘Why do you post so many Broncos pictures?” Marshall said.
He estimates that he gets about 150 misdirected tweets every day from people mistaking him for the five-time Pro Bowl receiver who has made public his borderline personality disorder and who makes more money in one week – $535,294 – than Marshall will all season – $495,000.
“People ask me for donations,” Marshall said. “People talk about mental health and say you’re doing a great job. I used to respond as jokes but now I don’t even respond. I figure, ‘One day I’m just going to make a name for myself.'”
He’s getting that chance with Trevathan out for the remainder of the preseason and likely the first month of the regular season.
Marshall, who was already playing alongside Trevathan in the nickel, has a message for Broncos fans who don’t really know much about him.
“I’m ready. I’ve always been ready,” he said. “I’ve been playing this game since I was 8 years old. So, it’s really nothing for me.”
And this Brandon Marshall promises there will be no drop-off in Denver’s defense even though Trevathan led the team with 124 tackles last season and added a team-best two dozen more in the playoffs.
“I will get it done,” said Marshall, who had the earpiece in his helmet at practice Thursday so he could get the calls from coordinator Jack Del Rio and relay them to the defense just like Trevathan does.
Marshall played weakside linebacker in the base, alongside Lamin Barrow in the nickel and as the lone linebacker in the dime defense.
“It was a new experience for me,” Marshall said. “I’ve never played `mike’ linebacker before. I’ve never made the calls before. It was fun, actually. It stressed me in a way I’ve never been stressed before. But I liked it. I liked the challenge since I know the defense. And like I said, they only sign smart linebackers here and they expect you to know everything.”
Del Rio said Marshall turned heads last season with his work ethic, and now “I’m excited to get a chance to really evaluate him in a more prominent role. He’s an athletic linebacker. Much like Danny, he has a nose for the ball. And we’ll just see where it goes.”
Notes: RB C.J. Anderson returned to practice one week after leaving the Broncos’ preseason opener with a concussion. … The Broncos have replaced the blare of simulated crowd noise at practice with a variety of popular songs. Says coach John Fox: “It makes them focus more. If they know the song, like the song, they have to concentrate on what they’re doing whereas the jet engine noise isn’t quite as distracting.”
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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