The Denver Broncos keep waiting for Brandon Marshall to embrace maturity and quit complaining.
The Broncos will wait a long time. The franchise could wait a decade — in vain, of course — for Marshall to march to the stern beat of coach Josh McDaniels.
Marshall will not settle down. He will not be happy playing for a mere $2.2 million this season. Marshall, like Jay Cutler, will gripe his way out of Colorado.
This marriage is doomed. Marshall is a prime example of the diva phenomenon polluting the ranks of NFL wide receivers.
Brandon is not concerned with team. Brandon is concerned with Brandon.
He’s obsessed with his catches, his yards, his touchdowns. He wants to dance in the end zone while thousands chant his name.
He’s smart enough to see Denver is not a desirable destination for a wide receiver desperately in love with self and flashy numbers. He sees what every other Broncos fan can see:
Kyle Orton is not the second coming of Joe Montana. He’s not even the second coming of Jake Plummer.
If Marshall returns to play for Denver — and that’s an extremely unlikely scenario — there’s no way he grabs 100 catches for the third straight season. I don’t believe Orton could find him 75 times.
It’s easy to see why Marshall wants to flee.
At the end of last season, Marshall was catching passes from Cutler, one of the NFL’s premier young talents. Marshall was a big part of a run-and-gun, pass-dominated offense.
Today, Marshall stands on the sideline during practice watching a decimated offense. McDaniels wants to establish a running game, a concept former coach Mike Shanahan declined to bother with last season.
And McDaniels has little patience for knuckleheads. He wants to run his team with the unsmiling, uncompromising style of his mentor, Bill Belichick.
It appears it will require a few more months for McDaniels to realize the Belichick approach doesn’t travel well. The dictatorial approach favored by Belichick works only when Belichick serves as coach.
McDaniels’ arrival announced a new Broncos era. Owner Pat Bowlen is in an unbending mood. Bowlen could hand out a big stack of cash to stop Marshall from moaning, but give Bowlen this much: He’s fearlessly consistent.
After tangling with Cutler, Bowlen could have been cautious in his encounters with Marshall. He could have buried a few of his new convictions to sweeten a relationship with his self-centered, reckless and undeniably gifted star receiver.
Bowlen would have none of this. The Broncos’ new emperor, freshly crowned since Shanahan’s departure, will not be moved.
And that means Marshall is destined to catch passes somewhere far from Invesco Field at Mile High.