The headline is explosive:
- Patriots make quite the catch in Rex Burkhead
- Postcard from camp, Day 8: Scrimmage shows Garoppolo's not yet in Brady's class
- Belichick explains why Brady's training regimen isn't for everybody
- Patriots go all out for Brady's 40th birthday
It certainly isn't beyond the realm to think Brady might have mouthed off to Marshall; as a group of stories gathered by ESPN's Mike Reiss in honor of Brady's 40th birthday show, he can be quite the competitor. So what exactly did he say that set Marshall off, that has the Broncos linebacker vowing revenge, that prompted him to circle the Patriots' Nov. 12 visit to Denver on his calendar?
Well . . .
Marshall remembers Jan. 24, 2016, as if it were yesterday. The Broncos were playing New England with a trip to Super Bowl 50 on the line. It was second down. The Patriots broke the huddle.
“Tom Brady …” Marshall recalled. “He looked at (running back) James White and said: ‘You’ve got 54. Get open.’”
Marshall didn’t need to check his jersey. He’s No. 54. Brady shouted the Patriots were coming after him.
“Before the play,” said Marshall, still mystified how Brady could have such open contempt of his pass-coverage skills. “He didn’t read the defense. He just said: ‘You’ve got 54. Get open.’”
How did Marshall react?
“I took it as a challenge. I was offended, at first. … He said it so loud, like he wanted me to hear,” Marshall said.
From the shotgun, Brady took the snap and immediately looked for White on an option route. He threw. Marshall refused to be beaten. The pass fell incomplete.
Marshall trotted to the Denver sideline, being replaced in Denver’s third-down defensive package by teammate Danny Trevathan. Before leaving the field, however, Marshall recalled, “I looked at Brady and I looked at James White, like ‘All right. That’s how you feel about me?’”
THAT'S the mortal insult Marshall will take to his grave? Brady telling one his running backs to get open?
“I’ll never forget that,” Marshall said. “I’m going to say something to Brady at some point.”