Phillips: ‘We’re going to double’ Marshall

Phillips: ‘We’re going to double’ Marshall
November 8, 2012, 9:45 pm
Share This Post
(US Presswire)

Brandon Marshall’s first year with the Bears is going well. Really Well.  

And Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has taken notice.

“We double cover him every play. That’s our plan,” Phillips said on Thursday as the Texans prepare for a Sunday night showdown in Chicago. “We’re going to double cover him every play. So, we’ll see what happens.”

Marshall has 59 catches for 797 yards and seven touchdowns through eight games this season. He’s second in the NFL in receiving yards. He’s tied for second in touchdowns. And he’s fourth in the league in receptions.

Marshall has been to three Pro Bowls, he’s caught 100 passes three times in his career, he’s had five 1,000-yard seasons. And this year, he’s on pace for his biggest season yet.

Marshall is on pace for 118 catches for 1,594 yards and 14 touchdowns. That type of season has been accomplished by only two players in the history of the NFL. Jerry Rice and Herman Moore both did it in the 1995 season.

“He’s big, strong, physical,” Andre Johnson said of Marshall. “He plays the game at a very high level, very successful. You can tell he’s in a happy place right now. Like I always say, I’m a big fan of receivers around the league. He’s one of my favorite guys. I’ll be watching him. He’s out there on the field and I’ll see how he plays.”

While Marshall is having a career year, the rest of the Bears passing game hasn’t really been there. Fifty-nine of the Bears’ 145 completions have gone to Marshall. The next closest on the team in terms of receptions is Matt Forte with 20. The next closest receiver is rookie Alshon Jeffery with 14.

“They’ve only thrown it to one guy, basically,” Phillips said. “They do a great job of that and he’s a tremendous receiver.”

Phillips eventually admitted that the Texans might not double cover Marshall on every play. Sometimes, their top corner, Johnathan Joseph, will go one-on-one against the Bears’ top threat. But for the most part, they’ll offer him plenty of help.

In two career matchups against the Texans, Marshall has 17 catches for 186 yards and a touchdown. Last season, when Marshall was with Miami, he had six catches for 79 yards and a score. But at that point in the season, Joseph didn’t have much one-on-one time with Marshall. Instead, Jason Allen (now with Cincinnati) was matched up with Marshall the most.

“They’re top of the league when they’re going,” said safety Glover Quin, who will be one of the players offering Joseph some help. “I think Marshall has like 59 catches. That’s the go-to guy. That’s who [Bears quarterback Jay Cutler] likes. That’s who he wants to get the ball to. We have to know that and we have to be on our game.”

Cutler and Marshall were teammates for three seasons (2006-09) with Denver and have been reunited in Chicago for 2012.

“Those guys are going to hook up,” safety Danieal Manning said. “Now, they feel like they’re moving the ball. They can move the ball on offense and they’re going to try to pose some threats here and there.”

And, double coverage or not, the Texans have to try to stop them.

More Team Talk