Updated: January 4, 2010 at 12:00 am
ENGLEWOOD -- Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler shared a going-away hug in the locker room that was symbolic and telling. More telling might have been Marshall’s locker, which he completely cleaned out – including the nameplate and the stickers that signified his No. 15, leaving only a small sticker players wore on their helmets earlier this season for breast cancer awareness.
After what transpired the past week, both seem destined to play somewhere else next year. Marshall was called out for the severity of his hamstring injury Friday by Broncos coach Josh McDaniels and was inactive Sunday, and Scheffler was a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game. Both are free agents this offseason.
Marshall stopped to talk to the media as players checked out for the offseason today, and was asked if he thinks he’ll be back with the Broncos “I’m not sure, that’s not my decision,” Marshall said. “It’s up to my agent and the Broncos.
“I love playing football and I love being a Bronco. I’m going to take these next couple of months and enjoy my family.”
Marshall also didn’t get into whether he could have played Sunday and the rift with McDaniels, saying, “That’s all in the past now.” He said he hadn’t spoken to McDaniels.
Scheffler hadn’t spoken to McDaniels either.
“I haven’t talked to him and I don’t think I will,” Scheffler said. “I guess that’s the way things are going to be handled and that’s something I have to live with and know in my own mind what happened and move on.”
Scheffler said he gave 100 percent all year, bought into the system and he played the best he could. He was benched for Sunday’s game, but denied he ever said that he wanted the season to be over after the Philadelphia game, as some reports indicated.
Scheffler did address whether there is a disconnect between McDaniels and the players, like himself and Marshall, who were brought in while Mike Shanahan was coach.
“Any locker room is going to have its issues with a new coach and 60 percent new guys and 40 percent holdovers from the old regime the old system – there’s obviously going to be issues," Scheffler said. "I think coach is working on taking those issues away. If that means moving players out of here and getting his own deal going, that’s the NFL and that’s something you have to live with. That’s why there’s 32 teams.”
Scheffler was asked if Shanahan’s holdovers were treated fairly.
“No comment on that,” Scheffler said.
Scheffler seems very unlikely to be back, but wouldn’t close the door on that.
“If something works out here then so be it, but it’s too hard to tell right now,” Scheffler said.