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Marshall’s plan: Give me the ball

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POSTED October 8, 2013 9:20 p.m.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall understands he’s going to turn heads when he speaks out, given his well-publicized struggles with mental illness.

He also wanted to make a few things clear. His illness is behind him. It’s important to express himself — and he wants the ball.

Marshall wasn’t backing down on Tuesday after venting a bit about a lack of catches in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans. He says he’s “not a politician” and that he’s “paid to make plays.”

The Bears are coming off back-to-back losses after a 3-0 start, with the winless New York Giants coming to Soldier Field on Thursday night, and Marshall wants to be more involved after being neutralized by the Saints.

Facing constant double teams, he was targeted just five times and wound up with 30 yards and a touchdown on four catches. He made it clear afterward he wasn’t happy, saying he needed to do a better job and that the Bears needed to adjust. He also insisted his frustration was fueled more by the result than his statistics, but he realizes anytime he vents, eyebrows will be raised given his history.

Marshall still leads the Bears with 31 catches, but he’s not carrying the load the way he did a year ago, when he set franchise records for catches (118) and yards receiving (1,508).

Marshall is open about his struggles with borderline personality disorder and the problems on and off the field the condition has caused him in the past. He also insisted he’s “past” his disorder, that the treatment he went through “kind of defused a bomb because I had all this stuff bottled up.”

He announced that he’ll be wearing lime-colored shoes during Thursday’s game in honor of mental health awareness week and that he expects to be fined $5,000 by the league. He in turn plans to donate $5,000, plus money raised through an auction for those shoes, which he will autograph, to a charity that helps women fighting breast cancer cope with the mental anguish.

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