The Brandon Marshall-Jay Cutler combination got off to a hot start with the Chicago Bears.
Marshall recorded back-to-back 100-reception seasons from 2012 to 2013 and scoring a combined 23 touchdowns.
However, when Cutler's production at quarterback slipped last season, Marshall's numbers at wide receiver took a hit as well, as his catches fell to 61 and TDs to eight. Speaking with ESPN's First Take on Thursday, Marshall, now with the New York Jets, sounded irked that he was the only member of the Bears willing to call Cutler out.
"There is a culture in the league that you keep everything in-house," Marshall said. "But for me last year, I felt like, when we are going on 10 years, nine, 10 years in the league—it's time to get it. I felt like I was the only one in the organization that had the 'huevos' to hold [Cutler] accountable. It didn't go the way I wanted it to go."
It sure didn't, as the Bears fell to 5-11 last season, down from the 8-8 record it finished with in 2013. Marshall's 61 passes for 721 yards were the second-lowest totals of his veteran career. Cutler was even benched in week 16.
"We didn't talk much during the year. We still haven't talked," Marshall said. "That is sad. I don't think there is anybody in the league that had more chemistry than us. If we had a slant route, I was going to go in the hole and he would find me. We saw the game the right way. I felt like that is something we could have built on."
What's worse is Marshall can't seem to pinpoint where Cutler's struggles derive from.
"I don't know if he has been hit too many times," Marshall said. "He is one of the most-hit quarterbacks. That can take a toll on you. I'm 31. He is 32 years old. I felt like our window [in Chicago] was short because we were going to be good and our coaches were going to get taken away [and promoted elsewhere in the league if we won games], and guys were in contract situations and injuries. I wanted everybody to come together and try to take advantage of the opportunity. We didn't do it."
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(Photos from left: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images, Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)