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Hollywood Brown Healthy And Happy As He Preps For First Cardinals Season

Sees former team Sunday; Said he wants to 'learn from' speeding arrest 

Wide receiver Hollywood Brown is expecting a big season in Kliff Kingsbury's offense.
Wide receiver Hollywood Brown is expecting a big season in Kliff Kingsbury's offense.

Marquise Brown loved playing for the Baltimore Ravens. What they stood for as an organization, that's what Brown stands for.

He wasn't angry with his former team. But he felt he needed to play elsewhere.

"It's about happiness," said the Cardinals wide receiver after practice Wednesday, with his new team hosting his former team Sunday night on national TV in the second game of the preseason. "I want to feel like I am a part of something to win. At the Ravens, I just felt like sometimes they really didn't need me. Regardless if I was there or not, they were going to win games.

"I love the game too much. I want to be involved."

That won't be a problem in Arizona, with a team that passes more often than the Ravens and with Brown playing with quarterback/best friend Kyler Murray. The man nicknamed "Hollywood" will be crucial the first six games especially, while DeAndre Hopkins is serving his suspension.

Brown, acquired in a trade on draft night in April after three seasons in Baltimore, won't be playing against the Ravens this weekend. Few of the key Cardinals will. Right now, Brown is just trying to work back into practice.

Brown sat out Wednesday – as did most starters – as the Cardinals focused on Ravens game prep. But this is the first week he has been practicing fully, since he hurt his hamstring prepping pre-camp, and since he had been arrested for criminal speeding at the outset of camp.

"I want to learn from it," Brown said in his first comments about the arrest. "I'm not a guy who gets into trouble, so I want to put in my past and make sure I'm always doing the right things at all times."

Brown didn't get into specifics but did say he was not late to practice that morning, calling his decision "very disappointing."

"I have a lot of kids that look up to me, so I want to set the right example at all times," he said.

The incident didn't help in an odd first camp for Brown, who didn't get a chance to practice with Murray until this week. (He declared his hamstring 100 percent healthy.)

Not that it matters to Brown – "Me and him can be apart for months, (then) get together in the summer going against DBs and we're clicking like never before," he said – and Murray also thinks his history with his college teammate will ultimately make a difference.

"I think (chemistry) is already built," Murray said. "It's the NFL, we still have to work on it. What we did, we did in the past. But there is a natural connection. It's weird because we talk about it but we haven't been on the field together in a long time."

Getting Brown practice time is meaningful beyond just preparing his body or building chemistry with teammates. Coach Kliff Kingsbury acknowledged there are still some things the coaches would like to see if Brown can (or can't) do in the Cardinals' offense that he was never asked to do in Baltimore.

"There are always going to be growing pains the first year in the offense," Kingsbury said. "But as we have said all along his familiarity with the offense based on his college experience definitely helps, and his comfort level with the quarterback is huge. I expect by Week 1 he'll understand what we are trying to accomplish."

That's important for Brown, who has two years left on his contract in a league where many wideouts got huge extensions this offseason.

Brown shrugs that off, saying he's happy for his friends to get that kind of money. His contract, he insisted, isn't on his mind right now.

"It just gives me motivation that I have to keep working," Brown said. "It comes when it comes."

Brown has been joking with a bunch of his former teammates about Sunday's matchup. He'll likely go to dinner with some. The love is still there.

But Brown is happy with the Cardinals, with Kyler, and with a chance to have the breakout season he craves (and needs for a healthy new contract.)

"Whenever I am in between the lines," brown said, "I'm ready."

Images from 2022 Cardinals Training Camp at State Farm Stadium