Brandon Marshall now is a New Orleans Saint, the newest addition to the team’s receiving corps.
Coach Sean Payton confirmed the signing of the 13-year veteran during his Monday teleconference. Marshall, a six-time Pro Bowler with eight 1,000-yard seasons on his resume, is the second high-profile signing for the position in the a week.
Last Wednesday, Dez Bryant was added as the Saints (8-1) continue to look for ways to bolster the roster. Bryant ruptured his Achilles in practice on Friday, before he was able to play a game. Marshall played in six games this season for Seattle, and posted 136 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions, before he was released on Oct. 30. He worked out for the Saints on Nov. 6, as did Bryant. In his career, Marshall has 12,351 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns on 970 catches.
“(Marshall) moved around well,” Payton said. “Smart. His experience is someone that has been in a number of systems. Overall, he had a good workout. He’s got good length and size, he’s another big target. We’ll see how it goes here this week and what our plans are.
Like Bryant (6 foot 2, 220 pounds), Marshall – at 6-5, 232 – provides a large, inviting target for quarterback Drew Brees.
“I thought size was important, but experience and someone that we thought had strong hands (also were factors),” Payton said.
KEEPING PERSPECTIVE: The Saints have won eight straight and along the way, have beaten five consecutive opponents who were in first or second place in their respective divisions at the time of the meeting. A week before Sunday’s 51-14 victory over the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, New Orleans handed the Rams their first (and only) loss of the season, a 45-35 decision in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. But the Saints haven’t had an issue with compartmentalization and focus.
“I think it’s led to good work during the week in practice,” Payton said. “Certainly (going to Cincinnati), we’d come off a big win the week prior and the concern was coming off a game like that and then turning around and getting started off on a good foot at Cincinnati. This week, we’ll have a similar challenge (against Philadelphia in the Superdome).
“We’re going to be playing a team that needs to win. In our league, we saw it last night even on TV: Dallas went into Philadelphia and got a big win. Philly will be one of those teams – they’ve got championship pedigree, players that just finished winning a Super Bowl will be playing in a game that they feel like is vital to win. So we really shift that focus internally to us to work on improving our game and putting together a good week of practice.”
DON’T BE ALARMED: Payton also confirmed Monday that he broke a fire alarm in the Saints’ locker room at Paul Brown Stadium prior to kickoff. The alarm was triggered throughout the stadium and the siren rang for an extended period of time.
“’Destroyed’ would be a little bit sensationalist,” Payton said of his actions. “But clearly, we were having issues with the fire alarm at a time – relative to 20 minutes, 30 minutes before we’re supposed to be out – it had continued, it had gone on for 10 minutes and I just needed the noise to stop.
“We’ll take care of the repair cost. I consider the Brown family (the owners of the Bengals) and that organization as close allies, people we have a lot of respect for. The same way with (Cincinnati coach) Marvin (Lewis).
“It was just something that had gone on, and in order for us as we got ready for the game, I thought that was important.”