RENTON, Wash - Seattle wide receiver Brandon Marshall is in the twilight of his career. At 34 years of age, he now resides in that area where many with his mileage have already exited the NFL. But Marshall is no ordinary athlete. He is an elite, physical presence that has put forth Hall of Fame caliber production during his 12-year-career.
Is a 13th in the cards? Potentially. But it's complicated. Marshall is coming off of a season cut short by a broken ankle that limited him to five games and 154 yards before the New York Giants let him go. Marshall, who also suffered an injured toe, spent the early part of the offseason rehabilitating his injury while also trying to get into good enough shape to workout for other teams. Training proved difficult. He fell out of shape. Finally, Seattle decided to roll the dice on Marshall on May 29 with a one-year, $1.1 million deal, hoping he could get healthy and back into shape. Maybe, just maybe, Marshall could give the team a potent enough dose of the Marshall of the past to make an impact this season.
On Thursday, Marshall said, flashed those skills.
"It’s the best I’ve felt in over a year," he said.Russell Wilson out of the air in the left corner of the end zone.
After that play, however, Marshall pretty much shut it down for the remainder of practice. He's simply not all the way back, yet.
"If you don’t got a full tank then you can’t play this game so I’m working my tail off to get 100% healthy and get out there and contribute in a major way," he said. "I’m not here to just be a guy. I’m here to be the beast that I’ve always been. I’m confident I’ll be able to do that in the next couple weeks.”
Seattle could use a few more "beasts" on this team.
Top wide receiver Doug Baldwin is battling a knee issue. He and Tyler Lockett should form a quality tandem. After that, well, receiver is a major question mark. Free agent signee Jaron Brown adds depth but he isn't a potential star. The Marshall of a few years ago would have been one of the best receivers in Seahawks' history. Seattle doesn't need Marshall to be the guy who in his prime put up eight 1,000-yard seasons while producing 12,225 yards and 85 receiving touchdowns. Seattle could get by with the 2014 version of Marshall that gave Chicago 721 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.
The loss of tight end Jimmy Graham to Green Bay created a need for a big bodied wide receiver that could make plays in the red zone. Marshall is that guy. Even if he isn't back to being viable starter that can consistently rip apart secondaries between the 20-yard lines, if Marshall could at least replace Graham as a red zone threat, the Seahawks would benefit.
To get to that level, Marshall said he has undergone regenokine therapy. Whatever it takes. But will it work?
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Marshall is working his way back toward a normal workload and added that he certainly makes things happen when he is on the field.
"He’s a guy that we get him right and get him healthy and out there, he becomes a factor for us because we know he can do some really special stuff," Carroll said. "He and Russell (Wilson) have worked together quite a bit already, over the summer as well, and already developing a mentality and an attitude and the chemistry that you need. It’s an exciting potential addition and we’re looking forward to it.”