McDaniels: Parting with Marshall was best for both sides
AP Sports Writer
DENVER – Broncos coach Josh McDaniels spent the evening talking about breathing a little easier – and not just because he had traded the talented but temperamental wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins.
McDaniels and tight end Daniel Graham spoke about living with chronic asthma during a program at North Denver High School on Wednesday night sponsored by National Jewish Health.
Before talking to kids and their parents about controlling the disease and overcoming the obstacles it presents, McDaniels briefly addressed his trade of Marshall to Miami for a pair of second-round draft picks earlier in the day.
He suggested the deal was a win-win because it gives both Marshall and the Broncos a fresh start after a tumultuous year.
“I’m happy and excited for Brandon to have an opportunity to do something that he’s wanted to do,” McDaniels said. “And I’m also excited about the opportunities that we’re going to be presented here in the coming week with the draft and continuing to build our team and our roster the way that we want to do it.”
Before speaking at the same event, Graham said it was time for both sides to move on after a trying year in which Marshall often clashed with McDaniels but still managed another stellar season.
“I’m not quite sure how the future would have been if he was around and how it would have affected everything,” Graham said.
Marshall’s departure has been anticipated since his suspension for the season finale after arriving late for a treatment session for a sprained ankle that the Broncos felt he was exaggerating.
The next day, he stripped the nameplate off his locker and left nary a shred of clothing behind.
“It seemed like he really wanted to get out of here,” Graham said. “He wanted to go somewhere where he felt he was going to be happy, and he didn’t feel like that would be here in Denver.”
Still, Graham said it will be difficult for the Broncos to replace Marshall’s Pro Bowl production. Marshall had three straight 100-catch seasons and caught 10 touchdown passes last year.
“We’re going to miss what he brings to that football field,” Graham said. “But we’ve got to move on. It’s a business.”
Graham, who grew up in Denver, said he realizes a good portion of the team’s fan base is upset that McDaniels has traded away stars Jay Cutler and Marshall in successive offseasons.
“I know looking from the outside it’s hard to understand what’s going on, especially when you lose players the caliber we’ve lost in the past couple of years, but it is the ultimate team sport,” Graham said. “Not one player is going to win the Super Bowl for us.”