Marshall pledges to show more emotion
Preparing for Monday Night Football, Brandon Marshall dropped a pass during drills Thursday, picked up the ball and gave it an angry boot.
Not that emotional outbursts take practice, but Marshall said he's planning a prime-time doozy. The mercurial Miami Dolphins receiver complained Thursday that he has been playing with his emotions in check and will show more passion Monday against the New York Jets.
''My goal is to get thrown out midway through the second quarter,'' Marshall said.
He mentioned that objective four times during a 12-minute interview session. When asked if he was joking, Marshall said no.
''I'm serious. They want to fine me, it'll probably be like a $50,000 fine. But I'm going to play. That quarter and half I'm out there, I'm going to play like a monster.''
In July, Marshall disclosed he was diagnosed earlier this year with borderline personality disorder, which stems from such things as a negative self-image and a fear of failure. On Thursday, he said efforts to keep his emotions on an even keel have hurt his play.
The two-time Pro Bowl receiver has 22 catches this year but only one touchdown, and he's tied for third in the NFL with five drops, including three in the end zone.
Any deficiencies have been magnified because the Dolphins are 0-4.
''The past four games, it's been tough for me trying to control some things,'' he said. ''I'm just going to let it out. I don't care if they have two, three cameras on me, I don't care if I have penalties. It doesn't matter. I'm going to let it all out.
''I'm best when I play emotional, I'm best when I play with passion, and you guys are going to see that on Monday Night Football. I don't know if it's throwing a football 15 yards into the bleachers and getting a 15-yarder, or punting the ball and getting thrown out of the game, but something is going to happen.''
Marshall's pledge comes with the offense in transition because of quarterback Chad Henne's season-ending shoulder injury. Matt Moore, who will make his first start with the Dolphins, arched his eyebrows when told that Marshall said he hoped to get kicked out in the second quarter.
Would a more emotional Marshall be a good thing?
''Um, I don't know. Now it's like I'm a doctor,'' Moore said. ''Brandon's got to be himself. Everybody's got to be themselves. He's going to be at the emotional level he needs to be at to be at his best. How about that answer?''
Coach Tony Sparano said Marshall at his most fiery would help the Dolphins, and he wasn't concerned about penalties or an ejection.
''Obviously Brandon is 50 percent kidding,'' Sparano said. ''I know one thing about that guy - he's not going to do anything to hurt this team. The people in that locker room are important to him.
''But sometimes on the field he's bigger than life when he gets the ball and starts rolling. He can be that way. I think that's the part Brandon is talking about.''
Marshall had 86 catches for 1,014 yards last season, his first with the Dolphins. But his streak of three successive 100-catch seasons ended, he scored only three touchdowns, and he twice drew penalties for tossing the ball to the sideline after a play.
Toward the end of last season, Marshall said he had been too boring, and he's again intent on stirring things up. A Dolphins official tried several times to end Thursday's interview session, but Marshall kept talking, saying he discussed criticism he receives with members of his support group.
''When you go through the things we went through, it's like you feel like you've got to be perfect,'' Marshall said. ''That puts you in this bubble, and it's kind of uncomfortable. You're not human if you don't have bad days.
''I've been living in a bubble a little bit, trying to control myself instead of being me. You've got to be able to turn that switch on and off. On Monday Night Football, I'm going to turn that switch on and be a monster. When I catch a ball, I might bang my head with a football. I might get into a shoving match with somebody. I might get a penalty. But I'm going to play like I usually play.''