Marshall could sit vs. Seahawks
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Broncos coach Josh McDaniels says he hasn't decided if recalcitrant receiver Brandon Marshall will play in Denver's preseason game at Seattle this weekend.
Marshall spent a second straight day working almost exclusively with the scout team Thursday, 24 hours after saying he was nowhere near mastering the new offense.
Marshall is upset with the Broncos over their refusal to redo his contract or trade him and with their handling of his acquittal on battery charges last week, when players were told by a staffer not to say they were happy for him.
McDaniels said after practice Thursday that he hadn't decided on playing plans for Marshall, who missed the preseason opener at San Francisco last week while attending his court case in Atlanta.
He did say kicker Matt Prater, who was excused from Thursday's workout for unspecified reasons, would play against the Seahawks on Saturday night.
But McDaniels said he would meet with his staff later to determine whether Marshall would play or if safety Brian Dawkins would make his debut in a Denver uniform.
Dawkins, who joined the Broncos this offseason after 14 years in Philadelphia, returned to practice this week with a club on his right hand, which was surgically repaired a couple of weeks ago.
Dawkins has been practicing sporadically and even picked off a pass Wednesday night.
"We're going to sit down in a little bit and talk about how long we're going to play whom and how that is all going to factor out. But certainly everybody who is out here on the practice field is just trying to get ready to go and play in a game and we're looking forward to that, too," McDaniels said.
After practice Thursday, Marshall spent more than 30 minutes talking with special teams coordinator Mike Phifer at midfield while former Broncos great Rod Smith spent the same amount of time tutoring second-year wideout Eddie Royal about 60 yards away.
Smith formerly served as Marshall's mentor after the fourth-year pro was suspended for last season's opener over a series of domestic disputes.
Reporters were shooed away before getting a chance to speak with either Marshall or Smith, who declined an invitation to go to the media room, according to a team spokesman.
Marshall boycotted the team's offseason workouts, at first to recover from March 31 hip surgery, and then in protest of his contract and what he felt was the team's misdiagnosis of his hip injury.
He pulled up lame with a hamstring injury three days into training camp and missed two weeks before returning to practice Sunday.
His agent, Kennard McGuire, met with McDaniels this week at the team's headquarters, presumably to talk about renegotiating his contract. Neither McGuire or McDaniels would say whether a trade request was reissued this week on behalf of Marshall, however.
Coming off back-to-back 100-catch seasons, Marshall, who started in the Pro Bowl six months ago, has vastly outperformed his contract, which calls for him to make $2.2 million this year.
Now, he said he has "trust issues" with the Broncos over their handling of his acquittal.
Between courtroom sessions at his trial last week, Marshall caught up with Roddy White, who held out from the Atlanta Falcons' training camp until he received a six-year, $50 million contract extension that includes nearly $19 million in guarantees.
White and Marshall have had nearly identical seasons the last two years, with White accumulating 2,584 yards receiving with 13 touchdown catches to Marshall's 2,590 yards and 13 TDs.
"He was a guy who worked. He paid his dues the past two years, put up some big numbers," Marshall said. "He deserved to get paid and he did. I'm excited for Roddy and his future with the Falcons."
He can't say the same for his future with the Broncos right now.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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