The unsolicited call came 48 hours after Darryl Drake welcomed Brandon Marshall to his new home.
The Bears receivers coach figured his freshly acquired three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was eager to get to work. But when Drake answered the phone, he realized just how motivated Marshall was for a fresh start.
"The first thing Brandon asked me was, 'Coach, can you study my film and tell me the reasons I got stopped?' '' Drake said Tuesday after Notre Dame's pro day. "As a player and as a person, I love him. I look forward to coaching him.''
Drake, not one to hold his tongue, might have to exert more tough love than usual this season. Marshall's sometimes volatile behavior on and off the field has been well-documented.
So what happens the first time Marshall barks at him?
"The question is what happens the first time I snap off on him?'' Drake said. "I think Brandon understands that.
"I've coached guys like him before. You coach as long as I have and you've coached guys who have had every type of problem there is. So you just try to help him. When they know you're there for them, it makes things a lot better.''
Marshall's situation, however, is rare. He has gone public with his bout against Borderline Personality Disorder, a psychological illness he said has contributed to his anger.
"Nobody is perfect,'' Drake said. "Brandon has recognized the things that have plagued him, the disease that has plagued him. He recognizes and understands that and he has done something about it. And he continues to work on that.
"Is it a process? Yes. It's ongoing. It always will be. But that's why you have a great support staff around you. ... We're going to do everything we can to make it work.''
At least one distraction lingers. Marshall remains the subject of an investigation involving an episode at a New York night club last month that led to 24-year-old Christin Myles accusing Marshall of punching her. Marshall has maintained his innocence and expressed no fear of NFL discipline as a result of the event.
Harvey Steinberg, Marshall's attorney, told the Tribune on Wednesday that police had yet to contact him with any follow-up to their investigation
The Bears have expressed their support of Marshall. And Drake says he's not concerned about the possibility of Marshall stepping out of line again.
"Because of the strength of our locker room ... he's in good hands,'' Drake said. "It's a great fit for him, and for us. We'll get past all the other things.''
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall already has chemistry with Jay Cutler dating to their days with the Broncos. He brings five consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons to a team that hasn't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Marty Booker in 2002.
And Marshall has a desire to get better, as evident by his phone call to Drake.
"It means so much to add a guy like him to the offense,'' Drake said. "You have a guy people have to be concerned with. He's going to help the other receivers. It's forcing everybody to raise their games.''Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times