Denver Broncos John Elway loves the trend of finding diamond in the roughs through practice squad talent. Next up is number 10 in our Christmas special.
Often as is the case in John Elway’s tenure with the Denver Broncos are the under-the-radar signings and promotions from within. This brings us to number 10 on our Christmas special countdown. The Broncos at the time were weak and seeking depth at the linebacker position. Elway decided to sign Brandon Marshall to the practice squad on Sept. 2, 2013.
Marshall’s original team, the Jacksonville Jaguars released him numerous times before the Broncos swooped in like Santa and his reindeer sign the ex-Wolfpack linebacker. He saw the field in 2013 once Von Miller dealt a horrific knee injury, but Marshall later reaped the benefits in 2014.
One of many traits in Marshall’s game is the versatility to play as a linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Danny Trevathan sustained three injuries during the 2014 season, but Marshall stepped right in and proved his doubters wrong with his play. Once Elway and coaches heard of Trevathan’s clear bill of health, the thought was to play Marshall as his backup. However, Marshall’s value on the team skyrocketed to perform alongside Trevathan in Phillips’ scheme in 2015.
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Elway saw plenty of worth in Marshall to let Trevathan walk in free agency to the Chicago Bears. A move, by some in the fan circles, questioned. However, Elway gave Marshall the contract extension he deserved. Yet as Marshall is currently dealing with a hamstring is as valuable as any player on the Broncos’ defense.
According to Pro Football Focus, Marshall is among the top ten linebackers in the NFL and is on course for a great career. I’m sure I speak for everyone of Broncos Country thanking Elway for signing Brandon Marshall to the contract extension. Who knows, Marshall may give his front office executive a Christmas card detailing a thank you for trusting him.
Marshall is just one of a few significant under-the-radar players Elway found that no one wanted. Will CJ Anderson or Chris Harris be next on the list of Elway’s best moves? Read tomorrow’s article to find out.