In 2009, his final season with Denver, Marshall matched up against Webb, and the cornerback essentially shut him down, limiting the receiver to four catches for 24 yards. Marshall now admits he “wasn’t prepared” for the type of fight he’d get from the diminutive Webb, who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds.
“He pretty much dominated me,” Marshall said. “You look on a piece of paper, and you see that he’s a fairly small guy compared to other guys around the league. But he’s probably one of the strongest corners I’ve ever faced.”
The next time Marshall, who is 6-4 and 230 pounds, faced Webb was in 2010, when Marshall was with Miami. Marshall caught just five passes for 30 yards -- with the bulk of that coming on one 21-yard reception -- and Webb had an interception.
Marshall thinks Webb is beginning to regain his form as one of the NFL’s top corners. Before Webb tore his left ACL last October, Marshall considered him the second-best player at his position, behind only Tampa Bay’s Darrelle Revis. In Baltimore’s win over Cincinnati last Sunday, Webb was targeted in coverage 12 times and allowed four catches for 58 yards.
“He’s playing at a really high level. Now you’re starting to see him as the season goes really getting back to that form,” Marshall said. “He’s a difficult opponent. I have a lot of respect for the guy. The last thing I remember is him dominating me a little bit and talking trash, and [I was like] ‘Man, that sucks.’ Now I get another opportunity to play against him. It’s gonna be tough. He’s a technician, he’s athletic, and he makes plays.”
Asked what took place the last time he squared off with Webb, Marshall said “he pressed me up and my releases [weren’t] good,” which “threw off the timing.”
“He was all over me,” Marshall said. “I didn’t much separation.”
Marshall currently ranks ninth in the NFL with 786 receiving yards and has eight touchdowns. His plan for Sunday against Webb is to try some different tactics to break free.
“It’s one of those things where this guy is so strong that it’s not always about being physical with him,” Marshall said. “You may have to finesse it a little bit and change up your approach. He’s one of those guys that you really have to study.”