Huard: Brandon Marshall can be even more valuable for Seahawks off field

May 30, 2018, 9:59 AM | Updated: 4:05 pm
brandon marshall, seahawks, seattle seahawks...
WR Brandon Marshall suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5 last season. (AP)

How will the Seahawks use their newest receiving target, 34-year-old veteran Brandon Marshall, whom they signed to a reported one-year deal? 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard expects to see Marshall act as a big target in the red zone – but hopes to see him explore a role as a teacher in the wide receiver room.

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“I think the obvious answer is that I would use him in the red zone scoring touchdowns,” Huard said of the 6-feet-4, 229-pound Marshall. “That’s why he’s here. He’s here to leverage that big body and understands how to do it. Unlike an Amara Darboh that is still a pup, trying to learn how to do that at the NFL level against elite corners.”

Still, Huard doesn’t love seeing reps taken away from a relatively young unit. Including Marshall (whom the team has yet to announce as a new Seahawk), Seattle has 12 receivers on its roster. Of those 12, just two players had more than 600 snaps with this team last year: Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. (Newly-signed free agent Jaron Brown was a regular starter with the Cardinals last year, though finds himself in a new system in 2018.)

The rest of the receiving corps will need to lean into reps and playing time to familiarize themselves with this offense – or, in the case of second- and third-year players, to refine their technique. And the pool of players looking for those reps is large; Amara Darboh, Tanner McEvoy, David Moore, Cyril Grayson, Marcus Johnson, Jaron Brown, Keenan Reynolds, Caleb Scott, and Damore’ea Stringfellow will all be fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster.

It’s why Huard believes that Marshall’s experience – and how he’s learned to use his body – will be even more valuable off the field.

“How do I truly gain separation? How do I truly leverage?,” Huard said. “And when I think of it honestly before Brandon Marshall the name that has to come to mind is Michael Irvin. Michael Irvin late in his career was a guy that ran 4.75, but he had such an ability in every little nuance there is. So as much as I complain about (Marshall) taking reps away, maybe there’s something to be said in that wide receiver room for Amara, for Jaron (Brown), for Marcus (Johnson), like, ‘Hey, this is how I do it, man. This is how you get away with this.’

“That would be the most convinving argument, is if they were to say to me, ‘You want to counteract your problem with taking away reps?’ – because it’s a big problem for me, you’re taking away reps and upside and opportunity for others – you counteract that with this guy actually being a legitimate teacher, actually being in that receiver room where there’s a new receiver coach, being on the field with those guys instructing as we’ve seen Richard Sherman do with Shaquill (Griffin), that would counteract. That would be the biggest positive.”

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