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Brandon Marshall

The Miami Dolphins woes continue week after week. With a 0-7 record so far in the 2011-2012 season, it is clear that the team is struggling to come together and make things happen. Determined to shake things up a bit is wide receiver and 2nd year Dolphins vet Brandon Marshall. Mostly known, especially recently, for his outspoken opinions and battle words, Marshall is a player with a lot of talent and a lot of passion…but has had a lot of problems, on and off the field. While many characterize him as just another “thug-like” player, he has recently peeled back some layers of himself and shed some light onto his life up to this point.

Marshall was a baller, if you will, at the University of Central Florida and earned a 119th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft with the Denver Broncos. His aggressiveness against his opponents was and is always fierce. He isn’t one that will just give up mid-tackle but rather fight till the other guy is on the ground. In 2009, Marshall set an NFL record with 21 receptions in one game. Over the three seasons he was with the Broncos, he also set team and career highs and proved to be a valuable player. But reports about conflicts with teammates, a poor relationship with the QB and one two many brushes with the law had the Broncos packing his bags and sending him on his way. The Miami Dolphins picked him up for a second round pick in the 2010 and 2011 NFL Draft.

His brushes with the law included several domestic disputes including one where his wife actually stabbed him near the stomach, driving under the influence, traffic violations, and misdemeanor charges. The list of incidents is quite long and didn’t sit well with the Broncos franchise. This along with his late and/or no show absences to physical therapy and practices was his ticket out of there. But it was his revelation after his transfer that he finally had some answers for his behavior.

In July 2011, Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. He is currently pursuing treatment and working to better himself. All these years, he had no explanation as to why he was acing out and getting into problems, but once he received the diagnosis, Marshall was able to make some sense of his life. He has made the effort into doing great and came to Dolphins training camp to build a relationship with his team and Chad Henne, who was the starting QB for the season until he recently had a season-ending injury. But just a few weeks back, ridicule ensued after he made some intense comments implying he wanted to be ejected from the game against the New York Jets for playing tough and hurting opponents. The media was brutal and made fun of him after not only did the Fins lose, but that he tripped over his own feet losing an opportunity for a touchdown.

What is a shame is that here Marshall is getting mocked by the media and fans, and all he is guilty of is “talking smack” (if you will) and wanting to play hard and. So here is a guy who had all kinds of problems. Everyone thought he was an idiot, but it ended up being something he couldn’t control. And now with medicine, he’s living a whole new life. He’s getting his act together, so rather than criticize him or calling him a bad guy, we should be giving him the benefit of the doubt.

So the interesting thing to see here is how this is all going to effect him. Is Marshall going to handle it in a positive manor? Maybe this will be just the opportunity he needs to prove that he is a powerful and improved player, all around. And maybe this will inherently help win a game for the Dolphins.