The men in charge of keeping Brandon Marshall from having a big game Sunday are not overly thrilled about facing the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Miami receiver.
That’s because they used to face him every day in practice.
“The frustrating part about it is that I think I taught him a little bit,” Denver cornerback Champ Bailey told reporters Thursday. “Obviously, he’s playing better than he did when he was here. He’s a great player. He’s grown up a lot; he’s matured a lot. You can tell he’s more defined in his routes. He’s a better player.”
Denver traded Marshall, who practiced fully Thursday after not practicing Wednesday with a quad injury, for two second-round picks in 2010. This is the first meeting between the teams since the trade. Marshall wanted to be traded because Denver wasn’t prepared to give him a long-term deal after Marshall had numerous off-field issues.
Marshall, a fourth-round pick in 2006, had at least 101 catches each season in Denver from 2007-09. He has 28 catches this season and is struggling in the red zone. He has been targeted an NFL high 13 times in the red zone this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, but has not caught a single pass there.
Still, the Broncos are wary of facing their final teammate.
“I know what he brings to the game,” Denver safety Brian Dawkins said told reporters Thursday. “Very physical dude, he’s not going to back down from a fight, he’s going to go up and challenge balls when they’re in the air, he’s going to push you off, he’s going to be a physical guy -- that’s who he is. That’s what we expect from him. I don’t expect anything different from him. Just because it’s us I don’t expect to see anything different than what I’ve already seen on film and that’s a very aggressive receiver.”