As hoped and envisioned by the Bears, the Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall combination has yielded plenty of good things for the offense this season. The highlights and big plays have actually been numerous.
But now things are different. Cutler will miss Monday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a concussion as veteran Jason Campbell gets the start in his place.
“I know my role: It’s the receiver [and] the receiver has to adjust,” Marshall said Friday at Halas Hall. “Whatever the quarterback wants, you have to give it to him.
“But the thing about Jason is he has a big arm and he has a great feel for the game. [Offensive coordinator] Mike Tice and [quarterbacks coach] Jeremy Bates are doing a great job of putting us in position to make it comfortable for us on Monday.”
Marshall said the biggest difference between Cutler and Campbell is that Cutler “likes to run around a lot,” while “Jason is more of a pocket guy.”
“Jason does a good job in the pocket, really reading coverage, really taking control of the offense,” Marshall said. “We’re fortunate to have him.”
Marshall is on pace to break all sorts of Bears receiving records. He has 67 catches for 904 yards and seven touchdowns through nine games. Cutler has targeted Marshall 103 times this season.
While a drop in production could be expected for Marshall — especially considering the bond he has with Cutler — the veteran receiver said he thinks he’ll be able to establish some chemistry with Campbell in the week leading up to Monday night’s game.
Campbell did connect with Marshall often in the second half of the Bears’ 13-6 loss Sunday against the Houston Texans. He targeted him nine times with Marshall catching six passes for 86 yards. It included 45- and 18-yard completions.
“The more time you get, the better it’s going to be,” Marshall said. “Even though he did a good job on Sunday, I think he’s going to do an excellent job on Monday because of the week of preparation. Being out there with him yesterday I really love the open line of communication between he and I and the other receivers, and that always makes it easier. I think we’ll be fine.”