All eyes will be on Marquise “Hollywood” Brown when the Arizona Cardinals begin their regular season. The team’s newest wide receiver is destined to be a lightning rod in an already high-powered attack.
But Hollywood’s first few weeks of training were not without challenges.
On August 3, the receiver was arrested after accelerating to 126 mph. While the Cardinals were practicing, Brown was in custody at a Maricopa County jail and was charged with speeding. Brown was released later that day.
The day after Brown’s arrest, manager Kliff Kingsbury said he was happy that the receiver was safe, but added: “He knows it has to be better than that.” The sentiment was echoed by Brown, who first spoke about the arrest on Wednesday.
“I mean, [I’m] very disappointed, “said Brown.” I have a lot of guys who admire me, so I want to lead by example. “
The 25-year-old receiver was caught speeding up an hour before rehearsals began. Brown said he couldn’t talk about why he was traveling at such a high speed, but he said it wasn’t because he was late for rehearsal.
“I’m not a guy who gets into trouble, so I put it in my past and make sure I’m always doing the right things at all times,” Brown said.
Brown’s next court date is August 23, the same day the team leaves for Nashville, Tennessee, for two days of joint training with the Tennessee Titans and then the final preseason game on August 27.
The Cardinals have not yet said whether they will punish Brown for speeding.
For now, Brown and the Cardinals are focusing on what’s on the horizon, which is a preseason game against former Hollywood team, the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens picked Brown as their first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. For three seasons, Brown partnered with quarterback Lamar Jackson and tight end Mark Andrews to form a dynamic bout.
Eventually, Brown decided he wanted a change of scenery and requested an exchange this off-season.
“I loved being at the Ravens. It was only for my career that I had to do [it]Brown said.
During the 2022 draft, Baltimore traded Brown and a third-round pick with the Cardinals for the 23rd pick in the same draft.
The exchange came after Brown scored his best career performance. Last season, he eclipsed 1,000 yards in reception for the first time, but the success was not matched by the victories. The Ravens finished last in AFC North for the first time since 2007 and missed the playoffs.
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Besides the fact that the Ravens were a heavy attack with a passing attack focused on tight ends, the time seemed right for Hollywood to seek a change of scenery.
“It’s about happiness. I want to feel part of something to win, “Brown said.” At the Ravens I felt like sometimes they didn’t really need me. Whether I was there or not, they would win games. I love the game too much; I want to be involved”.
The receiver won’t play his former team this week, but said he will likely have dinner plans with his former teammates when they arrive in Arizona.
If Brown was looking to get heavily involved in an attack, there couldn’t have been a better landing spot than the Cardinals.
Sure, Kingsbury’s offense demands a lot from his catchers with his heavy offense, but the real key is Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray or, as Brown calls him, his best friend.
Browns said switching to a new team was a lot easier with Murray on the team.
The two have been linked since college when Murray and Brown were teammates in Oklahoma. Now the two reunite in the NFL and the chemistry between the two is already being noticed by the other teammates.
“They have a chemistry that you can’t really train; it just comes from them hanging around, ”receiver Greg Dortch said.
That chemistry is just starting to be translated on the practice field. Brown started the field on the non-football injury list and Murray was sidelined for COVID-19 a week later. In the fourth and final week of camp at State Farm Stadium, the two begin sharing the field for the first time.
Brown and Murray are unlikely to start any preseason game this year, but Brown believes he and Murray are ready for the regular season.
“We get together in the summer, go up against some DBs and are clicking like never before,” Brown said. “I know him, he knows me. He knows what he likes, I know what he likes, so it’s something we just got. “
Though Brown feels ready, Kingsbury said he still wants to see how Brown will fare with the new responsibilities that weren’t asked of him in Baltimore. He added that he recognizes that Murray’s presence and their past success are beneficial.
“His familiarity with the attack, based on his college experience, definitely helps and the comfort level with the quarterback is enormous,” Kingsbury said. “He will feel more and more comfortable with him as he goes on and I expect him within the first week to understand what we are trying to accomplish.”
Brown will join a talented banquet hall that includes DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green and Rondale Moore. When Hopkins returns from a six-game ban, the sky is the limit for the attack. Hollywood got a taste of what it might be like when the team had all four receivers on the pitch simultaneously for the first time in this field.
“It was crazy, looking across the field and seeing these guys and even watching it in the movie, it’s crazy,” Brown said. “We just have to make sense of it once we’re out there. It looks good, but if we don’t perform it means nothing. “
Last season on the pitch, Brown was held back by a hamstring problem, but the receiver said he is feeling better this year and is 100%.