Peter King wrote:
Sunday, 5:40 p.m., Davie, Fla.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/w ... mqb/2.html
On the first pass play of Dolphins training camp Friday, Brandon Marshall had run one of the common routes in the Miami playbook, a slant and go. Some teams call it "sluggo.'' Whatever, the Dolphins called it a touchdown, because Chad Henne threw it long downfield, perfectly, for a score. "I got chills,'' said quarterbacks coach David Lee. "I don't know how it's possible to get chills in 95-degree weather with 90-percent humidity, but I did. What a beautiful thing that was to see.''
I remember going to Denver last summer and interviewing Marshall, who I've known for three or four years. Every answer was forced, clipped. He was ticked at the world then, a combination of being labeled a malingerer and feeling like he was lied to about getting a new contract. In the players' cafeteria Sunday, he grinned like a madman ... even when I asked him what he would have done differently in Denver before finally getting his wish via a pre-draft trade and new contract in Miami last April.
He paused, and I said: "Would you have punted the ball in practice that day?'' You remember the infamous tape, when he was a disruptive force in practice.
"I wouldn't have punted the football,'' he said. "There were a few things last year I didn't handle well. But what I've learned is that sometimes the more powerful lessons are the most painful lessons.''
Marshall doesn't want to return to the nightmare that was last year. He's married now -- to a different woman than the one he says caused "90 to 95 percent'' of his problems in the past. But he realizes talk is cheap, and no matter what he says now about being a different person in a different place, he's got to show it, day after day, week after week.
He has a five-year, $47-million contract extension, and he's on a team that he thinks is more suited to his physical style. "I've always had the attitude that I'm going to impose my will on the defense,'' he said. "So I fit in well with the philosophy of this team. Everyone in the building, everyone in the organization, has a toughness here. I like that. It's all football. We don't play games here. I see Bill Parcells, and he always says one word to me: 'Stamina.' I know I'm going to be happy here.