RENTON – At least one person in the Windy City is thrilled Seattle cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman have yet to be suspended by the NFL for allegedly taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall.
And with folks around the league buzzing about the apparent use of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall, Chicago’s go-to receiver mentioned another substance commonly used to bring excitement in a more intimate setting – Viagra.
“I’ve heard of some crazy stories,” Marshall told Chicago-area reporters this week. “I’ve heard of guys using, like, Viagra, seriously. Because the blood is supposedly thin, some crazy stuff. So, you know, it’s kind of scary with some of these chemicals that are in some of these things, so you have to be careful.”
Putting chemistry class aside, at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Marshall is one of the most physical receivers in the league, and he is looking forward to competing against the 6-4 Browner and the 6-3 Sherman on Sunday when the Seahawks make the trip to Soldier Field for a third straight season.
“I love their attitude and approach to the game,” Marshall said. “I think any successful professional athlete has to have a confidence about themselves and a swagger, and those guys have it.
“I’m impressed about their swagger, and they present some challenges just because of that. I’m excited about the matchup and getting this opportunity to compete against them.”
For Sherman, the feeling is mutual.
“It’s going to be a great matchup,” Sherman said. “It’s fun to watch him on tape. They do a variety of things. He has a great dead leg, where he stutters and kind of comes up and gets going again, and it’s worked on just about everybody.
“But it’s going to be fun. It’s fun to watch guys, and to kind of play the game within the game, and all the tricks he has.”
In 2010, when Marshall was with Denver and hoping to get traded, the Seahawks tried to woo the talented receiver to Seattle, flying him by seaplane to the team’s headquarters next to Lake Washington.
The Seahawks had a tie to Marshall because then-offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates had worked with the Central Florida product with the Broncos.
“I was making my rounds to the teams that showed any interest in me,” Marshall said about his visit to Seattle. “Seattle seemed like it was a place that I could’ve fit, but in the end we just couldn’t work it out. I guess it wasn’t the best fit for me, or them.”
The Broncos eventually traded Marshall to Miami for two, second-round picks.
After two, up-and-down seasons with the Dolphins, Miami traded Marshall to Chicago the past offseason for two third-round draft picks.
In Chicago, Marshall was reunited with quarterback Jay Cutler and Bates from his time in Denver. And the trio picked up where they left off with the Broncos. Through 11 games, Marshall has been dominant, totaling 81 catches for 1,017 yards and eight touchdowns.
Cutler looks for Marshall early and often. His 124 targets dwarf Chicago’s second-most targeted receiver, Earl Bennett (40).
“We may draw something up in the dirt or on the sidelines,” Marshall said about his chemistry with Cutler. “Or in between plays in 30 seconds we might draw something up. So it’s impressive, man. And I can’t even believe some of the stuff we come up with on the run.
“So it’s not about reps, it’s just a feel for each other, and actually seeing the game the same way.”
Chicago coach Lovie Smith said that Marshall is the true No. 1 receiver he’s been looking for, helping to create balance for the Bears’ run-oriented attack led by Matt Forte and Mike Bush.
“He’s a competitor, tough football player, and what we are as a football team,” Smith said. “He knows going into every game that he’ll get a lot of attention, but he’s just come through for us and is having an outstanding year.”
The Seahawks will try to figure out how to stop Marshall. But Browner and Sherman have done a good job of limiting talented, big receivers this season, holding Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (four catches for 63 yards), Dallas’ Dez Bryant (three, 17) and Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (three, 46) all under 100 yards receiving.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said his team will use a mix of man-to-man and zone coverages to deal with Marshall.
“We have to do some stuff,” Carroll said. “The ball is just going that way so we have to do things to deal with it. We have a plan that is hopefully going to tend to that.”
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson observed his 24th birthday on Thursday. But Seattle’s rookie signal-caller wasn’t expecting to do a whole lot of celebrating on the big day. “Just to relax, go to practice – that’s about it,” Wilson said. “Not too much. I don’t really like too much. I just like relaxing, hanging out.” … Kick returner Leon Washington was named the NFC special teams player of the week for his 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Miami on Sunday. Now that he’s tied with Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs for the NFL record with eight career kickoff returns for TDs, Washington said he intends to push past his rival and hold the record all on his own. “That’s my goal,” Washington said. “And to get it by a few, so nobody can catch me before they move the kicks back.” … Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant (foot) and linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) did not practice for a second straight day on Thursday, when the team worked out inside its indoor practice facility. Running back Marshawn Lynch (back) and defensive tackle Greg Scruggs (oblique) were full participants.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams