Marshall: Frustration fueled petulance

Updated: August 28, 2009, 3:55 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall told ESPN's Trey Wingo on Thursday night that he's not trying to force a trade through insubordination but that frustration got the best of him during a disruptive display at practice this week.

Although coach Josh McDaniels wouldn't say why, Marshall apparently was held out of practice Thursday as punishment for his unprofessional conduct at practice a day earlier.

Marshall
Marshall

Marshall went on ESPN Thursday night to discuss his actions that were shown on a video from Denver's ABC affiliate.

In the video aired by KMGH-TV from Wednesday's portion of practice that was open to the media, Marshall was shown walking when the rest of the team was running during warmups, insolently punting the ball away instead of handing it to a ball boy and swatting away a pass that was thrown to him.

Marshall said some of the video, which included a shot of him sitting on his pads before practice, was taken out of context. But he acknowledged his frustration boiled over and that it was an error in judgment to act as he did, especially when he punted the ball.

"I think everybody knows there's a lot of stuff built up there, and me handling it that way wasn't good," Marshall said during the ESPN phone interview. "I think if I could do it again I definitely wouldn't punt the ball."

Marshall said he wasn't trying to force his way out of town -- he asked for a trade this summer after the Broncos declined to rework a contract which will pay him $2.2 million this season.

"I'm not out there trying to be a distraction to the team," Marshall said. "Unfortunately, yesterday I kind of let my frustration get the best of me."

Marshall, held out of the Broncos' preseason game at Seattle on Sunday night after admitting he didn't know the playbook and running almost strictly with the scout team last week, said he wants to get ready for another good season in Denver.

During a brief post-practice news conference on Thursday, McDaniels refused to say whether Marshall's absence was health-related -- he has been dealing intermittently with a strained hamstring that sidelined him for most of training camp.

"I'm not going into it," McDaniels said. "If they're not ready or able, they're not out here."

McDaniels was then asked if Marshall was on the premises.

"I don't know where he's at right now. He was in the building this morning," McDaniels replied.

McDaniels appeared to become irritated when, in a follow-up question, he was asked whether he had spoken with Marshall.

"I'm not talking about it," McDaniels retorted. "He's not out here at practice. When he's ready and able to practice, he will practice. That's it."

The Associated Press sought comment from Marshall's agent, Kennard McGuire, but was told he was out of the country until Monday.

It appears unlikely that Marshall will make his preseason debut in Sunday night's exhibition against the Chicago Bears and former teammate Jay Cutler, who forced a trade out of Denver this winter.

McDaniels held Marshall out against the Seahawks because he said the wide receiver wasn't prepared to take the field in a game. Marshall missed the team's exhibition opener against San Francisco two weeks ago because he was on trial in Atlanta, where he was acquitted of a misdemeanor battery charge, a verdict he had hoped would give him leverage for a new deal in Denver or somewhere else.

Marshall was angered the Broncos had instructed his teammates not to say they were happy for Marshall over his acquittal on charges he beat up his then-girlfriend 18 months ago.

That's when Marshall started spending more and more time with the scout team and hanging out with the defenders instead of his fellow offensive players in between drills.

Marshall has only practiced a handful of times this offseason. A Pro Bowl receiver with 206 receptions the past two seasons, Marshall has sought a new contract and, after the Broncos did not act on his request, asked in June to be traded.

He's unhappy not only with his contract but with what he feels was the team's misdiagnosis of a hip injury that required offseason surgery.

He pulled a hamstring on the first weekend of training camp and didn't return until a week ago.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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