Broncos hope Marshall's chat with Goodell sinks in

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall was summoned to New York last week to chat with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell concerning his string of off-the-field legal troubles.

Mike Shanahan hopes the conversation sank in.

"You're always concerned anytime the commissioner calls you in to have a meeting. It's not a good sign," the Denver coach said Thursday on the eve of training camp. "If it's not a wakeup call, then he won't be in the National Football League."

Marshall attended the meeting with attorney Harvey Steinberg and Broncos receiver Rod Smith, who officially announced his retirement Thursday.

Smith has been serving as a mentor for the 24-year-old receiver, who is coming off a 102-catch season.

"I care about him a lot," Smith said. "Once he gets to the point where he can get some inner peace in his life, you're going to see numbers that dwarf anybody else. He's going to blow numbers out of the water."

The league had no comment on Marshall's meeting with Goodell. The gathering was first reported in Thursday's edition of The Denver Post.

Marshall has been arrested three times in the past year. He's due in court in September for a trial on a drunken driving arrest from October 2007.

The Broncos expect to hear back from the league about a possible suspension as soon as next week.

"I pray he doesn't," Smith said. "I honestly believe he has a great direction in his life. We talked about setting some rules. We have some rules in place ... He's a great person. You'll never find a guy with a bigger heart or a bigger smile."

Now, Smith is urging Marshall to make some changes.

"He's going to learn, he's going to grow," Smith said. "He's going to get better. Everybody goes through tough times. I had the same thing happen to me. I had times where you think the world's going to come to an end. You know what happens? You wake up the next day and you've got another chance. I want to be there to help him when he gets a second chance."

Shanahan appreciates the fact Smith has taken Marshall under his wing. He couldn't have given Smith a more important assignment as he heads off into retirement.

"He knows the potential Brandon has and what type of guy he is," Shanahan said. "If you ever wanted a guy to be a tutor for a player, it's Rod Smith."

Shanahan said that Marshall's right arm is mending nicely after cutting an artery, vein, nerve, two tendons and three muscles in an accident at a resort in Orlando, Fla., in March.

"He's ready to go," Shanahan said. "He's 100 percent."

Marshall said during the Broncos' camp in June that while he still had some nerve damage, his goal was to catch 100 passes.

Smith certainly wouldn't rule it out for his protege.

"He's an amazing player," he said.

Between Smith's mentoring and Goodell's chat, Shanahan is hopeful that Marshall is paying close attention.

"Even though Brandon has made some mistakes, he's a good kid," Shanahan said. "Hopefully, he can learn from those mistakes."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.