Marshall: "1,000 yards is not my goal"

Last week, Chicago wideout Brandon Marshall became the first Bears pass catcher to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark since 2002. Yet he says his goals go beyond just catches and yards.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has 1,017 receiving yards on the season. He is the first Bears wide receiver to reach the 1,000-yard plateau since Marty Booker in 2002.

While accomplishing such a feat in Chicago is big news, for Marshall, it's just par for the course.

"I'm not proud of my statistics," Marshall said today. "Because to me, 1,000 yards ... I think that should be easy when you have 16 games. I won't share my exact goals, but 1,000 yards is not my goal."

Marshall has topped 1,000 yards in each of his past six seasons. He caught 100 or more passes in each of his three years playing with Jay Cutler in Denver (2007-2009). Folks in Chicago aren't use to such production out of a wide receiver -- the organization has been dubbed the place where receivers go to die -- yet Marshall is bucking that trend, raising the bar for what should be expected out of Chicago's pass catchers.

WR Brandon Marshall
John Gress/Getty

"He's a special player," said Cutler. "I knew it from Denver, playing with him. He makes it easy for me. He's a competitor. He wants the ball at all times. Whenever he gets in that zone he was on Sunday, just feed him the ball. Just find him the ball. Just find a way. If B's not No. 1 in the progression, go to him anyway. He just makes it happen."

Still, despite his high level of play, Marshall isn't about to start patting himself on the back.

"I'm not proud of 1,000 yards. I'm not proud of 100 catches," said Marshall. "My No. 1 goal is to win, and it's the same with Jay."

While Marshall piles up the numbers week in and week out, Cutler has struggled at times in 2012. Yet, like Marshall, Cutler said the scoreboard is all that matters.

"8-3 [record], that's the only thing I know," Cutler said. "I couldn't tell you one stat."

So far in 2012, Cutler has thrown 13 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions. His 81.1 passer rating and 60.8 completion percentage are both down from his career averages. In six of the club's first 10 games, Cutler has thrown for one touchdown or less.

He's not having a down year but his numbers have dipped a bit, which is surprising considering his long-standing chemistry with Marshall.

"[Jay] doesn't care if he throws for 4,000 yards, breaks records, he doesn't care. He just wants to win," Marshall said. "This guy is a selfless guy. A lot of people don't know that about him. He's not driven by money, he's not driven by the media. He's focused on what he has to do, and I appreciate that about him."

With the offense struggling to move the ball on the ground recently -- the group averaged 2.9 yards per carry last week and 3.0 per rush the week before -- to go along with numerous injuries along the offensive line, Marshall will have to continue his dominance if Chicago has any shot at making a deep run into the playoffs.

"We understand that we are the focal points of the offense right now. So there's no more added pressure than that," said Marshall. "We know the offense goes through us, Jay being a quarterback obviously and me being the No. 1 receiver. But I guess that's why they pay us pretty good, to make plays and move the ball."

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.

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