Brandon Marshall rounding into form, hoping for big season with Seahawks

posted by Curtis Crabtree - 

Seattle Seahawks v Minnesota Vikings

RENTON -- It's been a frequent sight at the end of practices throughout training camp for the Seattle Seahawks.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall - a 12-year NFL veteran in his first year with the Seahawks - is among the last to leave the practice fields and in deep discussions with fellow teammates or coaches about techniques and details of certain plays.

It's often been rookie cornerback Tre Flowers getting the bulk of Marshall's wisdom as the converted safety from Oklahoma State tries to assimilate into his new position. But it's also included quarterback Russell Wilson, head coach Pete Carroll and others in a detailed discussion regarding releases off the line of scrimmage, route details and more.

Marshall is working as hard as ever and wants to make a good impression with his new team.

"I'm still trying to prove myself to not only the world, but most importantly my teammates and coaches here," Marshall said. "On paper it's a 34-year old receiver with two down years so every day I go out there I remind myself I want to prove to No. 3 (Russell Wilson) what type of receiver I am and what he has out there."

Flowers has appeared attached to Marshall's hip at times during the preseason. Marshall frequently made plays at Flowers' expense on the practice fields only to turn around and tell Flowers why he was able to do what he did. Flowers has the exact measurables that Seattle loves in its cornerbacks. Marshall has been one of the best receivers in the league for the last decade. With Doug Baldwin sidelined for much of the preseason, Marshall presented the perfect case-study for Flowers to latch onto.

Marshall was happy to oblige.

"That happens all day," Marshall said of conversations with teammates. "That's in a hallway. That's during a bathroom break you see guys pulling each other to the side. Obviously the quarterback-receiver relationship is important. Chemistry is important. There's a lot of language that you've got to be on the same page with, a lot of body language that you've got to understand. When a quarterback looks at you and gives you those eyes, those lovely eyes that's saying 'I'm coming to you' you've got to be ready for it or you're going to miss it. Those are the things that you do after practice or during those bathroom breaks to just speed up the learning curve."

It's an aspect of Marshall's approach that hasn't gone unnoticed.

"I think it's amazing and I think it's great for our young players to see that," offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "The David Moore's of the world. Guys like that that are young players that are maybe finding their way or looking for a role model. He's always talking about football Very self-critical. He'll get down on himself. He knows when maybe he makes a mistake. All those attributes that you see, you love, not only from a veteran player, but a guy that has accomplished so much in his career."

Marshall is finally getting back to full strength after surgeries to fix injuries to his ankle and toe last winter. He said the last week of the preseason was the first time he's felt 100 percent. And since the toe issue had been something that had effected him for multiple seasons, Marshall is feeling as good as he has in years.

"Now it's just knocking the rust off and getting in game shape," Marshall said. "But two days before the Oakland game is when I was like 'wow, OK, this is what it feels like to be where I was for most of my career.' So I'm excited about that. And with that in mind, they haven't seen a lot of that. There's a lot of things that I haven't been able to do because I've been nursing this or nursing that or recovering from this or that."

Marshall set a lofty goal for this season in January when he was still a member of the New York Giants. When asked on his Twitter account what the proudest moment of his career has been so far, he replied "next year's comeback player of the year award."

"I absolutely believed it," Marshall said of the statement. "I'm a competitor. That's why I'm here. I think the reason why I'm still playing is because I never like I've ever arrived. I always feel like you can get better. Definitely had to overcome a lot of obstacles but that is my mindset."

Marshall had played just five games for the Giants last year before the ankle injury ended his season. He was just able to start running again from his surgeries when the team released him in April. After signing with the Seahawks, he didn't really get back on the practice field until a few days into training camp and has slowly built up since then.

"His smarts, his willingness, all of that has always been there and then when his body came into good shape and he settled down – he’s still showing us all of the things that he can do, so he’s fit in really well. We’re excited to include him in the offense," head coach Pete Carroll said.

It's still unknown - even to Marshall - exactly what he can still accomplish on an NFL field. However, he's given Seattle plenty of reasons to be excited about his spot on their roster for the upcoming season.

Notes:

-- J.R. Sweezy is ready to start at right guard on Sunday if D.J. Fluker is unable to play due to a hamstring strain.

Sweezy missed all four preseason games due to an ankle sprain sustained right after re-signing with the team after two years in Tampa Bay. But he's ready to go after taking part in each of the team's three practices this week.

"I'm doing great," Sweezy said. "Getting back into the swing of things and knocking the little bit of rust I had left on off and just getting some live reps was good. I'm feeling good and I'm ready to go."

-- Cornerback Dontae Johnson did not practice on Thursday due to a hip injury and was a new addition to the injury report. If Johnson is unable to play against the Broncos due to the injury, it will necessitate either Neiko Thorpe or Tre Flowers start in his place.

Thorpe missed all of the preseason due to a wrist injury and Flowers is a fifth-round pick converting to cornerback from a college career at safety.

Injury Report

Photo Credit: MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 24: Xavier Rhodes #29 and Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings tackle Brandon Marshall #15 of the Seattle Seahawks after a reception during the second quarter in the preseason game on August 24, 2018 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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