By Earl Bennett
Receivers get the “Diva” tag due to their flamboyant attitude and greediness to always want to ball. NO MATTER WHAT! As a former receiver, I can tell you that I was open every route I ran. No doubt about it – 100% of the time I was open. However, if you are open, but run the route improperly that causes problems and confusion for the offense.
Brandon Marshall is a great player. No doubt about it. You can do a Google search on his magnificent catches and his ability to fend off defensive backs. His talent to snag the ball at its highest point was a skill that you cannot teach. Brandon, just like myself was ALWAYS open. Even when there were 3 guys around him, he was open and just wanted the DAMN BALL. Yet there were times when he would run a route improperly, which caused confusion – specifically this one time in practice.
Film study is boring, long and mundane. No one wants to watch the mistakes they just made and have them magnified in the meeting room. Coaches bust your balls even more once they can see exactly what happen on film. Every little move is critiqued and analyzed down to the blades of the grass your cleat went through while running your route. Well, this play is forever etched in my brain.
Brandon being a big receiver had issues with running a corner stop route. The route is 10 yards, break for the corner of the end zone, then stop 5 yards after and come RIGHT BACK to the QB. This route was his Achilles heel. In practice he ran around his feel (not right back to QB) and when seen on film, coach Trestman addressed it.
Coach Trestman with his nice and calm demeanor asked Brandon, “Do you see why this pass is incomplete, you did not come right back to the QB.” Brandon politely asked Coach Trestman to rewind the film three times. After watching it, his response was classic receiver diva. Brandon responded, “Yes, I see it and I am open. Tell him to throw me the fucking ball.” Then he proceeded to the locker room and left for the day. Martellus Bennett looked at me and said, “Well I guess this meeting is over.”
There’s a diva in every receiver. Whether it comes out in the form of pouting or simply being blunt like Brandon. All receivers can side with him and say, we just want the ball at any cost. No matter if I was wrong, make it right by giving me the damn ball.