Brandon Marshall says he won’t revert back to old ways

Brandon Marshall is a changed man. And he’s keeping it that way.

In a candid interview with ESPN.com, the Bears’ once-troubled receiver said “there isn’t any reverting back” to his past.

“I found that interesting that there is a thought about me reverting back. But I always tell people that’s just part of the journey, especially for a young man given so much freedom, so much fame, so much fortune,” Marshall said. “That’s part of the journey, to make mistakes. But the problem is you make your mistakes in the public’s eye. People look at me like, ‘Is this an act?’ I know you believe in me, but some people will say, ‘Is it an act?’ or ‘It’s only going to last for so long.’ But I’m actually growing, every single day. This is the new me. This is who I am. So there isn’t any reverting back. But I do make mistakes. I’m pretty much still in the same exact situation. I just look at life differently and my approach is different. There’s some things out there I still need to work on.”

Marshall has been one of the league’s best wideouts since 2007, but various off-the-field issues during that timespan clouded his career. Fortunately, he seems to have settled down in Chicago, starring as the go-to guy in a prolific Bears passing offense.

A devout Christian, Marshall explained why 2013 — when he took a backseat to second-year sensation Alshon Jeffery — was the first season he played unselfishly.

“Last year I grew spiritually and that was the first time I was able to step outside myself on this spiritual journey and be able to say, “You know what, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But I’m gonna serve Alshon Jeffery. I’m gonna serve Martellus Bennett.” Because I know there’s something bigger. I’m a part of something greater. I can’t wait to see what it is. But I know if I just continue to pour into those young men’s lives, we will be great together.”

Perhaps most importantly, Marshall has made great strides away from the gridiron. Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, he’s become an advocate for mental health awareness and taken on a mentorship role for those who need help. He’s currently assisting former Dolphins teammate Davone Bess, whose career is in a freefall following a series of bizarre incidents.

A few years ago, Marshall couldn’t even help himself. Now he has the means — mentally and psychologically — to help others. Such a drastic improvement lends credence to his promise of not falling back into old, bad habits.

(Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).