If being an undersized middle linebacker playing a new position in the Denver Broncos’ 3-4 scheme wasn’t hard enough to start the season, try doing it while having a loose screw in your foot. That’s what Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall is dealing with after one of the two screws that were placed in his foot during an off-season surgery broke. Marshall told The Jim Rome Show five weeks into their 2015 season, the pain isn’t too bad.
“It actually broke right before the first game of the season. It’s kind of broken, split in the bone. It’s kind of crazy,” Marshall said. “At first it was really hurting, it was painful. The first two games it was really painful. But ever since then it’s gotten a lot better. I’m not really feeling the pain. It’s feeling pretty good. I think I broke it in the [San Francisco] 49ers preseason game that we had, because ever since then it was killing me. But it feels really good right now, and I’m actually really happy with my progress.”
The Broncos’ leading tackler said he had concerns about playing with the screw in his foot at first.
“The doctor tells me the screws are useless now because they did the job they’re supposed to, hold the bones together so the ligaments can heal, which they did,” Marshall said. “And they said that the screw wouldn’t have an issue on how you play, and I thought it did. I thought they were lying to me, but after a couple weeks it started feeling better, and I was like, ‘Ok, good. I should be good the rest of the season.’”
The 26-year-old was still hesitant with the team doctors’ advice on the loose screw and admitted you always have to remember who they work for.
“It’s always in the back of a player’s mind. It’s our bodies, and nobody is going to care about our bodies like we are,” Marshall said. “So at the same time, yeah, we have to listen to the doctors. They are the experts, but at the same time, we have to take it with a grain of salt and sometimes, if we got to get a second opinion, we have to and a lot of players get second opinions.”
Marshall also talked about his rough start to his pro career in Jacksonville. After being selected in the fifth round of 2012 NFL Draft, Marshall was cut by the team three separate times.
“It was terrible man,” Marshall said of his time in Jacksonville. “Honesty, I kind of lost some of my confidence as a player. I wasn’t sure if I was good enough for this league.”
But the linebacker says he learned during those trying times that no matter what he was going to keep giving it his all.
“I told myself I’m going to keep pushing I’m going to keep playing and if I go out, if my career is over, then I’m just going to go out how I want to go out. Play fast in practice, because I wasn’t playing in the game. Play fast in practice and want to show what I have and if my time is up then hey I can say I gave it all I got,” Marshall said. “And after the third time I had kind of expected it. It was weird, because after the second time, I was heartbroken, devastated. After the third time I kind of expected it.”
Marshall said he then got the biggest break of his career.
“Denver and Oakland called and I had to make a decision on which team to go to as far as the practice squad goes, and I chose Denver,” Marshall said. “They have a more stable situation, they’re a winning organization and I was like, ‘Ok, well let me see how it is over here.’ And once I went over there I busted my tail in practice and everything, they noticed and they started loving me. And that’s when I finally got up on special teams in the playoffs and the Super Bowl run, and I started all of last year and I’ve been starting ever since. That was the best move I ever made.”
Marshall now looks on his time with Jacksonville and still wonders how he can now start for the NFL’s best defense but couldn’t crack the lineup in what’s arguably been the league’s worst defense over the past few seasons.
“It’s funny, because in my time that I’ve been starting, I’ve ran across a couple ex-Jaguar coaches and they all come up to me like, ‘Hey man, you’re killing it, man. The linebacker coach was wrong. He was wrong,’ and I saw a guy Sunday, with the [Oakland] Raiders and he was like, ‘Oh man, you’re killing it. They were wrong at Jacksonville,’” Marshall said. “And I was trying to tell them, and I felt like yes, we were losing but it’s not like they had to wait a long time for me to develop, I was only there one season. I can see if I was there two, three seasons and say ok this guy’s not cutting it, but I guess when you’re not winning, you know, sense of urgency is greater to have a roster turnover. I’m just glad Denver took a chance on me and allowed me to play.”