I’m sure most Dolphins’ fans have grown accustomed to holding their breath whenever they see Brandon Marshall’s name in the headlines this time of year. We already had one scare this offseason when Brandon’s wife stuck him in the abdomen with a kitchen knife. Make that two scares, considering police have since arrested his wife again for violating her restraining order.
Sure, maybe a little bit of an overreaction with Marshall being fine and recovered from the stabbing as nothing more than the victim. But let’s not forget that we’re talking about a guy who could be one personal conduct policy violation away from a lengthy suspension. A lengthy suspension that could lead to Miami cutting ties with their two second-round pick, $50 million investment really even before Marshall has the chance to showcase how dominant of a receiver he can be.
But tonight’s report, courtesy of the Sun-Sentinel, gives us hope and a refreshing little dose of optimism that has been hard to come by in the midst of this lockout. Despite not being in South Florida with his teammates, Marshall has been training vigorously to regain the 4.4 speed he came into the league with as a rookie.
According to his trainer Matt Gates, Marshall has consistently been running sub-4.5 40’s and recently set a personal record by running 22.5 mph on the tread mill, which you can actually watch here. Just thinking of how dominant Marshall could be with his size and legit 4.4 speed has me wishing this lockout was over more intensely than ever. Because while Marshall was able to flash a few glimpses of greatness in 2010, he was far from as advertised in terms of running after the catch.
When you look at some of his highlights from Denver, he was able to elude defenders on his way to spectacular YAC yardage time and time again. We didn’t see that last year. We saw a big receiver that was almost an impossible cover in the short to intermediate passing game when Chad Henne was in his right mind, but we saw a guy that usually went down immediately after the grab.
There’s no telling how much this offense could open up if Marshall was able to turn some of those ordinary receptions into big-time yardage, or better yet, emerge as the deep threat Chad Henne could desperately use. But I suppose we shouldn’t get too giddy about these reports. Its one thing to run fast on a tread mill, but it’s another to do it on game days when some of the world’s best athletes are in pursuit. I’ll hold off on reading too much into these reports until we see the product on the field. Perhaps more importantly, though, Marshall is said to be in “good spirits,” which, if true, is quite the relief considering we were being left unaware of how he was mentally with so much turmoil in his personal life.