"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 wake-up call, then he won't be in the National Football League."
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.
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.
"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."
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."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press