Name: Brandon Marshall
Height: 6-1 Weight: 250
Age: 27 Experience: 6
The Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall followed up a Super Bowl winning season in 2015 with an injury and distraction filled 2016. There were several issues that followed the Broncos linebacker last season. Some issues stemmed from his choosing to kneel during the national anthem for part of the season. However, it was injuries that really held back Marshall.
It is not likely that Marshall will be taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner this season. Marshall was reflective and sincere in his protest last season. While he angered many fans, he certainly took time to have a positive effect, and use his protest to help shed light on social issues that face this country.
But that isn’t why you’re here. The big question that faces Marshall this season is health. He played in just 11 games last season, and staying on the field will be the first step to getting that bad taste out of his mouth from last year.
Marshall is continuing to grow as a leader on defense for the Broncos. While he struggled with health issues in 2016, he is still a center piece for the defense. Improved health, along with big adjustments on the defensive line, should help the Broncos improve in stopping the run.
The addition of Domata Peko, and Zach Kerr, along with a bulked up Adam Gotsis should help to clog up the middle. This will free up Marshall to make big plays, which is his goal for the upcoming season. The defense is still one of the best in the league, and a healthy Marshall will only serve to keep the Broncos defense on top.
Health is seemingly already an issue. A sore achilles sidelined Marshall during minicamp. Obviously, the Broncos will be playing it safe regarding his health. It is a situation that every player faces in the NFL.
#Broncos HC Joseph said Brandon Marshall had a sore Achilles from yesterday. Carlos Henderson same with his foot. Held only as a precaution.— 104.3 The FAN (@1043TheFan) June 14, 2017
Marshall’s health will be an important story this season. While he started all 11 games he played last season, injuries clearly slowed him down. The Broncos need him on the field, and they need him at full strength.
"It kind of sat on me. I had a bad feeling, I had a bad taste in my mouth all of last year," Marshall said. "Even during the season, I was like, 'I'm not making any plays, I’m not making plays.' It just felt weird. I wanted to do something about that. I plan to have a complete opposite season. I plan to make all the plays. ... Linebackers are supposed to lead the team in tackles. We’re supposed to be the playmakers on defense, and I think that’s what we need to get back to."
Marshall is a starter for the Broncos. As long as he can stay healthy, he will have a big impact on the team. While Todd Davis and Zaire Anderson will get playing time next to Marshall, he is clearly the leader of the ILB corps.
The Broncos are better when Marshall is on the field. He will continue to be a main cog in the Broncos defensive wheel. His leadership on the field will continue to be an important aspect of his game. If the run defense is going to improve, Marshall will be a key component for that.