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'Good Guy' Hollywood Brown Wouldn't Mind Cardinals Return

James Conner wins PFWA award for team MVP

Hollywood Brown isn't playing, and because of his heel injury that ultimately landed him on IR, he didn't play much in the back half of the season. But as he came out Thursday after practice to accept the Steve Schoenfeld "Good Guy" award from the Arizona chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America -- an award named after a long-time Cardinals beat writer who was killed in a hit-and-run accident -- Brown again showed why he earned the honor of working well with the media.

Brown, who had not met the media since going on IR, acknowledged with his ever-present smile it had been an up and down season but the wide receiver was thankful regardless.

"I learned a lot and my play grew a lot," Brown said. "I proved to myself a lot of things I wanted to see this year. It was unfortunate the season didn't go the way we wanted as far as us winning, but I feel like I showed what I can do. For me, it's about working. Keep continuing to prove yourself. that's what this business is. No matter if you have a good year, you've got to repeat that good year. If you have a bad year, you have to come back at do better."

Running back James Conner, 110 yards short of 1,000 yards rushing despite missing four games, was named the Lloyd Herberg MVP -- named after the first Arizona Republic Cardinals beat writer who passed away from cancer.

Conner has another chance to play Sunday and will be back in 2024. Brown, who is scheduled to be a free agent, has less certainty but said "of course I would want to be back here."

Brown ended up with 51 catches for 574 yards and four touchdowns, his last receptions coming Nov. 26 against the Rams. But he said he improved his game in multiple areas, including getting off press coverage.

"Every week I asked coach, 'What do you want to see from me?' And he was like, 'Keep going,'" Brown said. "I was like, 'Coach what do you think I need to do,' and he said, 'Just keep doing what you're doing.' Once he started saying that to me, I knew I was on the right path."

What happens with Brown's contract is an unknown. He should be healthy when the market opens, and there could be teams willing to pony up -- Christian Kirk's FA deal with the Jaguars was the last wideout who was wooed in such a way.

Brown said his lack of a contract extension this year never bothered him because "I think I'm just a confident guy."

"I feel like I'm one of the best in the game," he added. "Playing receiver is all about opportunity. But as far as the wide receiver position, route running, releases, big plays, I feel like I have all that in my tool box. I really feel no pressure."

Wide receiver Hollywood Brown (left) and running back James Conner congratulate each other after winning 2023 PWFA awards.
Wide receiver Hollywood Brown (left) and running back James Conner congratulate each other after winning 2023 PWFA awards.