Mike Ditka advised Brandon Marshall

Updated: October 16, 2012, 5:39 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

As Brandon Marshall tried to get acclimated to his new team in Chicago, the receiver said Tuesday he found support from one of the Bears' legends, Mike Ditka.

"He just told me it's a great opportunity here for me," Marshall said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "There's a lot of things I can do on and off the field, especially with the foundation we're trying to establish in the community, and just take advantage of it. Coach Ditka has been support for me. I think in the next week or so we're going to sit down with him and his wife and have dinner.

"I'm going to pick his brain every chance. Coach Ditka, he's a pro's pro. He's one of those guys that you really need to pay attention to when you're around him."

Marshall arrived in Chicago after a March trade with the Miami Dolphins, giving him three NFL stops in seven seasons. A reputation for off-the-field trouble also followed the three-time Pro Bowler, who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder last year.

He made a believer of Ditka, who met with Marshall at the former coach's Chicago restaurant in June.

"He sounds like he gets it," Ditka told "Waddle & Silvy" in June. "I told him there's no better city to play football in than Chicago, and if he does his job the city will embrace him. And it will."

Marshall has delivered as the No. 1 receiver the Bears have lacked for years. He has three 100-yard games in five games and leads the 4-1 Bears with three touchdowns and 496 yards receiving. He posted season highs with 12 catches and 144 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 8.

"It's still not where I want to be," Marshall said. "I've left a lot of opportunities out there. I kind of started off slow. But that's individual stats. When we're talking about that, there's a lot of plays that I left out there, and I'm working really hard in practice and in the film room to really get better so I can really dominate, especially in the red zone.

"As far as the team goes, it's as expected. We lost the early one to Green Bay, but we expect that -- it's a long season, 16 of them (games). But I couldn't ask for a chance to be a part of a better organization, to be in a locker room with a better group of guys. I've never really experienced anything like this on any level. I've made more friends on this team in a few months than I have on any of my teams in the past. It says a lot about the guys Coach Lovie (Smith) has put on this team."

Marshall looks back on his time in Miami with some regret for the way he conducted himself at times during his two-year stay.

"There wasn't any consistency," Marshall said. "I handled things totally wrong, and when adversity hit in the past I probably rubbed my teammates the wrong way with how I conducted myself as far as going about business. I look at the trade from Denver to Miami, the contract situation there -- I handled that totally wrong. Even though my teammates supported me and they loved me, we're all in this together.

"At the same time we've got to move forward in a positive direction trying to win games. At the beginning I was more of a distraction than a teammate. Now I am more professional, and I really enjoy coming to work, so it may make me a little bit more easy to come up to."

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