This afteroon, I had the great fortune of speaking with The Beast - Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Brandon was in Boston participating in a photo shoot for Reebok and the Broncos' 50th AFL Anniversary Throwback jerseys. Turns out BMarsh is already familiar with MHR, and he was quite generous in offering his time to speak via telephone. We covered his hip injury and recovery, the new quarterbacks, and the draft, among other things. Most interestingly, I found out that Brandon gets along just fine with Philip Rivers - that may help answer some questions about who was responsible for the reported bad blood between Denver and San Diego in recent seasons. Many thanks to Brandon for taking the time to speak with me, and I hope you enjoy reading what he had to say.
NYC - Are you looking forward to wearing the Reebok 50th AFL Anniversary throwback jerseys?
BM - I think it's great that Reebok and the NFL are doing these throwback jerseys to highlight the AFL's 50th Anniversary. Sometimes we forget about our history, and I think it's a great reminder.
NYC - Are you familiar with the vertically-striped socks?
BM - (Laughs) I heard about the vertical socks...We're going to have fun with it on game day.
NYC - How are you doing with your rehab following hip surgery?
BM - I'm working and getting back to 100%. I'll be there for Game 1. I've been working out and trying to get stronger, trying to get the movement and strength back in my hip.
NYC - How did your injury affect you last year?
BM - It slowed me down; I probably played the whole year at 80%, with the tear in my hip. I'm glad we caught it when we did, and now we can move forward and I can get better. I thought I was aging fast last year, because I didn't know why it was bothering me, and I was complaining. After the season we figured it out, and I'm happy about that.
NYC - From a team aspect, what happened last year?
BM - That's last year - we're excited about the direction of our team and our organization, and all we can do is take advantage of all the changes and have fun with it.
BM - What's going on man, how are you? Philip Rivers just walked in.
NYC - The Enemy.
BM - No, he's not the enemy. He's great.
NYC - He is a great quarterback. What do you think of the new playbook?
BM - The playbook is thick - it's exciting just to learn more about football; with change comes more learning, so I'm excited.
NYC - Do you think your role within the offense will be any different?
BM - I'm sure Coach McDaniels will use me where he sees fit, and I think we'll take advantage of matchups with me, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley and some other guys we've got on that side of the ball.
NYC - As you enter the last year of your rookie contract, any talk of an extension? Obviously, we all want to see you here for a long time...
BM - I want to be here for a long time. But that's the business side of it; something I'll just let my agent and the Broncos work out.
NYC - How would you feel if the Broncos used their franchise tag on you next year?
BM - I'm not worrying about anything like that right now. I'm just worrying about trying to get healthy and get back on the football field as soon as possible.
NYC - What's it like for you to start over with a new quarterback? You came in with Jay, it'll probably be Kyle Orton, but it could be Chris Simms...
BM - From what I see so far, what I enjoy about those guys is their work ethic in the film room and on the field. They're the first ones to the facility and the last ones to leave; they're just learning the system and trying to get better. If we all follow those guys, I think we'll be alright.
NYC - Chris Simms is a lefty - have you ever played with a left-handed quarterback before? Is there a difference for you?
BM - No, I haven't - but I've been catching passes with him and it's actually not much of a difference.
NYC - Are you still involved with the Open Door Program?
BM - Yes - as of now, we're putting some plans together for the upcoming year, and hopefully we can have another huge impact like we did last year. I think the kids enjoyed the things we've done and are doing, and we're going to keep it going.
NYC - Many of us have read about your work with Reverend Kelly, and it's another reason we're proud to have you here.
BM - Thank you; I'm glad everyone sees not just what I'm doing, but the changes the kids are making. They're great, and it's a pleasure working with those kids. They inspire me.
NYC - What was the Pro Bowl experience like for you?
BM - It was fun and relaxing - I can't wait for it to be back in Hawaii again.
NYC - Did you pick up anything from the other players?
BM - Not really, the practices are more like walk-throughs; so guys are pretty much out there chilling and relaxing. It's not that tough; guys aren't really out there working hard.
NYC - What did you think about the Draft?
BM - I think we did a great job; I think we added depth in a lot of places, and picked up some guys who can help us on both sides of the ball. I think Coach McDaniels and his staff did a great job of bringing in some guys that can help us.
NYC - I really appreciate your time, Brandon. It was an absolute pleasure to speak with you; I think I can speak for all Broncos fans, but I can certainly speak for our readers - we are proud to have you as a Bronco, and we hope to watch you play in orange and blue for the next ten years.
BM - Well, hopefully I can be a Bronco for that long. Thank you.