- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall admits it’s difficult to maintain a mutually palatable relationship with quarterback Jay Cutler, and likened their bond to that of a married couple.
“It’s not always fun, not always good, even walking around here,” Marshall said. “With Jay and I, there’s always some work.”
But that doesn’t mean either is averse to doing it for the sake of the team which holds its first workout of training camp Thursday at Olivet Nazarene University. A seventh-year veteran, Marshall spent the first three years of his career operating alongside Cutler in Denver as the duo combined to produce gaudy statistics, including 1,200-plus yards receiving for Marshall in two of those three seasons.
The duo hopes to recapture some of the magic they conjured with the Broncos in Chicago. But to do it, they’ve got to constantly enrich their chemistry, which isn’t always easy, according to Marshall.
“It’s one of those things where it’s like a … (Marshall started to say “marriage”),” Marshall said. “I was thinking about that earlier where in any relationship, when you take two people from two different places and you put them together, you butt heads because sometimes we try to impose our own wills on each other. But once you understand that there’s no right or wrong, there are just two different people, I think that’s when the relationship gets better.”
Marshall called he and Cutler “the odd couple,” revealing that in their relationship “we’re that couple where there’s fireworks, but then it gets a little fiery at times, too.”
“I’m just happy to be here with Jay. He’s a great leader, and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Marshall said. “You can put a good quarterback and a good receiver together, but it’s not always gonna mesh because sometimes you don’t see the field the same way or see things off the field the same way. Jay and I, I don’t know why, but we see things the same way.”
They probably can’t help it, given their dorm rooms at ONU are adjacent to one another. Marshall and Cutler are even competing against one another in board games with the quarterback holding a 2-0 record against the receiver in a game he calls “Q” because “I can’t pronounce it.”
“It’s just natural. I think we’re really focused, and we understand how we need each other,” Marshall said. “We need each and every guy on offense and defense. It’s a sense of family here, and we’re just excited about the opportunity. It’s like the honeymoon still.”