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Seahawks WR Brandon Marshall: ‘I’ve never had the chance to play with a QB like Russell Wilson’

Seahawks WR Brandon Marshall signed with Seattle in May. (AP)

When the Seahawks signed Brandon Marshall in May, it gave them a chance to get a dominant red zone threat for quarterback Russell Wilson – filling a void left by the departure of tight end Jimmy Graham. For Marshall, signing with Seattle gave the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver a chance he’d also been looking for: the opportunity to put together a championship season.

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“I haven’t had the opportunity to win yet the way I’ve wanted to,” Marshall told John Clayton during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle. “I’ve done it in spurts. But to do it consistently and put together a championship year, that’s really what I’m playing for at this point.”

Marshall has far more faith in this year’s Seahawks than do a few national outlets (including a USA Today piece that projected them at a dismal 4-12). A big part of that is the play of quarterback Russell Wilson.

“I’ve never had a chance to play with a quarterback like Russell Wilson, his caliber,” Marshall said, noting he played just five games with Manning before being injured in 2017.

“I’ve played with so many quarterbacks. I think I’m on the record saying how much I love Ryan Fitzpatrick. I really enjoyed my time there and Ryan was a guy that just worked his tail off, was an amazing leader and so smart. When it comes down to physical talent (with) Eli Manning, I know there’s a lot of talk about him on the decline but he really hasn’t declined. Especially this offseason, when I got an opportunity to work with him he was special. I feel like he’s getting stronger to be honest. (With) Russell Wilson, man, he’s just a different breed. And he’s in his prime. So I’m excited to work with a guy like this, this is a champion.”

Is he a top-5 quarterback?

“Top three quarterback for sure,” Marshall said. “Absolutely. And if he continues to do the things he’s doing, one day we’re going to be talking about him as possibly the best quarterback in the NFL.”

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Outside of warmups and a few light drills, Marshall has been held out of training camp as he works back from surgery on his ankle and toe. Marshall said he’s “close” to making a return to the field, but has been taking a more measured approach to recovery since coming to Seattle.

“It’s not about the injuries, it’s more about performance,” Marshall said. “The goal is to make the team, number one. And the second goal is to be able to be available throughout the entire season. When you have an injury you spend so much time on the rehab part and not, obviously, the performance side. Getting better, getting faster, getting stronger. You try to do it all but it’s almost impossible to do it all.

“For me, I was cut and started getting calls so I (started) rushing the process – running before you’re supposed to, decelerating and running routes before you’re supposed to. So it was great that I came here because they’re really smart. They’re ahead of the curve when it comes to sports science and performance. And they slowed things down and said, ‘Listen, you’re not ready to run. You can run but you’ll probably end up hurting yourself.’ So right now we’re just progressing through the offseason, taking it one day at a time and slowly adding more things so I can have the volume and endurance and strength that I need that will last me the next couple of months. So it’s less about the rehab… and more about performance. How can I last an entire year? And that’s the way we’re approaching it.”

The 34-year-old Marshall knows his age is the biggest knock against him for critics. But he told Clayton he believes new developments in sports medicine will allow wide receivers to play well into their 30s.

“I think we’ll start to see guys push that out a little further into their mid-30s even late-30s, and the reason is because of technology and the access to information… there’s a lot of validity behind (that statistic) but you’ve also got to see where guys are hitting and what they’re doing now.”

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John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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