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Arkush: Brandon Marshall is not the problem

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, right, and wide receiver Brandon Marshall sit on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The Bears have a number of problems to deal with in light of their current two-game losing streak, but Brandon Marshall is not one of them.

Marshall was a problem both on the field and in the locker room in both Denver and Miami. That's why he's been traded twice.

All-Pro wide receivers are worth more than the two second-round draft choices the Dolphins gave up for him and a lot more than the two third-round picks the Bears sacrificed.

His personal issues are why he's a Chicago Bear and why the media assumes he's about to be trouble every time he starts talking more about himself than the team.

I was more than skeptical when the Bears made the deal for Marshall and the revelation of his diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder came about the time of the trade. And the suggestion his impending treatment would cure all his woes did little to lessen my concerns.

But the fact is that Marshall has been one of the best players in the league since he got to Chicago as well as a solid citizen and team leader of sorts.

I understand why the majority of the media would immediately prepare for the worst and break out their Hazmat suits at the first sign of Marshall discontent. But the truth is all he's done is voice a reasonable frustration over the Bears' two losses and his own failure to contribute to his expectations.

"The frustration comes when we're not winning and the offense isn't moving the ball," Marshall said after the Saints game. "It has nothing to do with me. It's about I want to win. I have a nice contract, been to Pro Bowls, made All Pro. I want to win. Sometimes the formula may go to me, sometimes it doesn't. Whatever's best for the team to win, that's what we need to do."

Coming from anyone else, we'd find his words admirable and probably even compliment his selflessness and leadership.

Coming from Marshall, we say OK, but why then even bring up the fact that you're not getting the ball enough and that you're not even sure what your role is in the offense? It was Marshall who started the conversation, not the media.

"Everyone wants to be successful in this league," Jay Cutler said. "I want to be successful, Martellus wants to be successful, you want to be successful. You don't want to write bad articles, do you? It's just how it is. He's human, he wants to be personally successful and he knows that for us to get where we want to go everyone has to contribute at some point and there's going to be games where he doesn't get 10 balls. If we win we're going to be happy and if we lose everyone's going to work to see how we can fix it."

"He's been great in practice, great in meetings, great in the lockerroom and he's been one of the team leaders," Marc Trestman said. "Brandon helped Alshon during the offseason, he helped convince D.J. Williams to come here and he's an elite receiver."

On the Tuesday, Marshall met the media again to raise awareness for his and his wife's foundation and to raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness Week - Oct. 6-12, and to dampen media concerns about his state of mind.

Frankly, I'm not sure what he accomplished. His statement that his Borderline Personality Disorder is now behind him can be either comforting or disconcerting, depending on who is interpreting it.

But I do know this. His teammates and coaches strongly support him and, if you actually listen, he's saying almost all the right things.

I don't believe he's a problem right now, but maybe the best thing would be if he'd just stop insisting on talking so much about himself. I think that is where his message is getting lost.

• Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him at harkush@shawmedia.com.

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