From the moment Brandon Marshall was introduced as a Bear, there was talk of how a strong locker room would play a crucial role in taming the sometimes-volatile wide receiver.
Lance Briggs understood the thinking. But the seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker believes there's no need to babysit Marshall.
"Brandon's going to be fine because Brandon's going to be fine,'' Briggs said. "It's not just because of us.''
Marshall now can come to work with a clean slate with no charges filed against him for a March 11 incident during which he was accused of punching a woman outside a New York nightclub. Marshall maintained his innocence from the beginning.
"We knew it was going to happen,'' quarterback Jay Cutler said of his top receiver being cleared.
Marshall, who appeared on several ESPN television shows Friday, said on "First Take'' that he and his wife decided to avoid "slippery places'' following the fallout in New York.
Briggs can relate.
Briggs took some missteps in the past that caused him to re-evaluate his lifestyle. His most infamous episode came in August of 2007 when he crashed his $350,000 Lamborghini on the Edens Expressway and fled the scene.
Briggs has matured since then, and he says no one had to coax him to do so.
"One of my childhood friends, Ben Anderson, always said, 'Lance is a grown man; he's going to make his own decisions,' '' Briggs said.
"With Brandon, I would tell him to live his life. I'm Brandon's teammate. I support him. And I'm going to support him all the way. That's just how it is.''
Briggs already knows what to expect from his new teammate on the field. He has witnessed snippets of what Marshall brings to the offense during voluntary workouts. Media members will get their first full look at the revamped Bears during Wednesday's open organized team activities.
"Brandon Marshall's one of the players that I've always been super-impressed with,'' Briggs said. "He put a move on me when we played Miami a couple of years back. He caught a deep ball and I thought I had him. In a split-second, he spun and I completely missed him.
"He pulled a hamstring on the play, but I was amazed that a guy that big could move like that within a split-second. That is something that you never forget.''
Briggs, Marshall and the rest of the Bears hope to make the 2012 season memorable. On ESPN, Marshall said the defense gives the Bears the edge over the rest of the NFC North. He went on to say his team will be in the Super Bowl.
Briggs shares the same optimism.
"Everyone on this team, every time we go out and we work out, we look around at our squad and who we have right here and we know that our opportunity can't be wasted,'' Briggs said. "We have the opportunity to do something special. And Brandon is an integral part of what we're doing.
"I'm excited to watch him and our offense. I won't be sitting down a lot this year. I'll be on the sideline watching these guys.''
Indeed, Marshall should keep fans on the edge of their seats — and the Bears hope his newfound maturity will keep the organization off the edge.
BRIGGS SOUNDS OFF
On being without Brian Urlacher, who continues to recover from a knee injury: "Brian's not on the field with us, but he's in the meeting rooms with us. We don't play any games in May, June, July. When training camp starts, that's when I'm looking to see where No. 54 is. This is the time for veterans like me and Nick (Roach) to help the young guys, so you've got to look at the positives. With Brian not here, there's a guy that gets to go in the middle and actually learn the position rather than standing there and watching.''
On talk of Tommie Harris being re-signed: "When I heard about it, I was hoping it would be true. You never know how the future is going to work. You never know what's going to happen. Absolutely he could help. Tommie will make any defensive line better, any team better. Having him, you know that you're getting an elite defensive tackle.''
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