Broncos’ Bowlen heaps praise on Marshall, McDaniels

BOSTON — Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said Josh McDaniels is maturing into the head coach he expected him to be and that WR Brandon Marshall is playing himself into a “significant raise.”

“Brandon understands that he’s got a year left on his present deal, but if he keeps playing the way he is, he’s going to get a very significant raise — a much better contract,” Bowlen said Tuesday at the NFL Fall League Meeting. “That’s the way it goes, and Brandon has accepted that.”

Marshall, who asked to be traded and later was suspended because of insubordinate behavior at a preseason practice, has played well the past two weeks for the 5-0 Broncos. At least publicly, Marshall has shown a more amicable attitude toward McDaniels after a contentious offseason.

As for McDaniels and his team’s hot start, Bowlen said, “Things couldn’t be any better.”

Bowlen went on: “We took some early criticism hiring a young coach — he was 32 years old at the time — and were questioned about what he was going to be able to do. He’s been terrific. It’s been extremely important as we got into the process of him being a head coach, that the way he’s handled particular situations was well beyond his years. He’s proven he is ready.”

Bowlen singled out the way McDaniels singularly absorbed the criticism for trading Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler to the Bears in exchange for Kyle Orton and draft picks, although it was an organizational decision.

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