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Thursday, September 30, 2010
Marshall belittles Sharpe's expertise

By Tim Graham

To have an opinion on Brandon Marshall, you better be a coach or a Hall of Famer.

Nobody else is qualified, apparently.

Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall had 10 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Jets.
On the latest edition of the NFL Network's "Playbook," analysts Sterling Sharpe, Mike Mayock and Solomon Wilcots criticized Marshall for fading at the end of Sunday night's 31-23 home loss to the New York Jets.

Marshall responded Thursday by essentially saying the analysts are not qualified to scrutinize him.

"Those guys are players, former players," Marshall said. "They never coached. So they need to continue to do what they do best and stop worrying about other things that they don't know anything about."

Marshall later added: "What those guys are saying, that's just them trying to sound good and sound like they know what they're talking about. ... I don't honestly think those guys were elite players, including Sterling Sharpe. I got to turn on the film and see what he was able to do. I know he's done some good things, but from my understanding he's not a Hall of Fame guy."

Marshall had 10 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown Sunday night.

"The guy played probably 60-something plays the other night," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said, "and if I remember correctly with about four plays left in the game caught one and ran it down. So he looked OK to me then."

Mayock used the Telestrator to point out a seeming lack of effort on the final set of downs after Marshall made a 30-yard catch and run. I selected that play as the AFC East's decisive moment because Jets safety Brodney Pool might have saved the game with his tackle at the Jets' 11-yard line.

Chad Henne threw an incomplete pass to Marshall on first down, scrambled because of coverage on second down, dumped to Ronnie Brown for 5 yards on third down and ended the game with an interception.

Mayock said Marshall was jogging and didn't step up "in money time" throughout that sequence. Wilcots said "a playmaker, a true gamer has to be in great condition to be able to close out games."

"Brandon, you have to give us more," Sharpe said. "Bill Parcells has a great saying that I stole, working with him in TV: 'Don't complain. Don't explain.' You are the guy down in South Florida. If they're going to throw the ball, you are the first option. What Mike just showed us, I'm going to give you a pass on that. That was one game this year. You're getting used to the Florida heat.

"Brandon Marshall, from now on, you, my friend, are going to have to bring it."

Mayock and Wilcots are former NFL safeties. Sharpe was an All-Pro three times and a Pro Bowler five times in seven NFL seasons.

Sharpe likely would have been a Hall of Famer had a neck injury not forced him to retire at 29 amid concerns of paralysis or possibly death because of loose vertebrae. Sharpe left as the Green Bay Packers' all-time receiving leader.

Marshall would be fortunate to have a career that successful and blessed to retire on his terms rather than be forced to leave the game because of a serious injury.

Marshall hasn't been selected for an All-Pro team yet, but he could make a few if he stays healthy. He also could be a Hall of Famer someday -- and thereby become certified to render an opinion on another receiver.