All eyes will be on Marquise “Hollywood” Brown when the Arizona Cardinals start the regular season. The team's newest wide receiver is set to be a lightning rod in an already high-powered offense.
But Hollywood's first few weeks of training camp hasn’t been without challenges.
On Aug. 3, the receiver was arrested after reportedly speeding at 126 mph. While the Cardinals were practicing, Brown was in custody at a Maricopa County Jail and was charged with criminal speeding. Brown was released later that day.
The day after Brown's arrest, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he was glad the receiver was safe, but added, “He knows he’s got to be better than that.” The sentiment was echoed by Brown, who spoke about the arrest for the first time Wednesday.
“I mean, [I’m] very disappointed,” Brown said. “I got a lot of kids who look up to me so I want to set the right example.”
The 25-year-old receiver was caught speeding an hour before practice was set to start. Brown said he couldn’t speak about why he was traveling at such a high speed, but said it wasn’t due to running late for practice.
“I’m not a guy to get in trouble, so I just 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 on Aug. 23, the same day the team leaves for Nashville, Tenn., for two days of joint practices with the Tennessee Titans and then the final preseason game Aug. 27.
The Cardinals have not yet said if they will be punishing Brown for the speeding incident.
For now, Brown and the Cardinals are focusing on what is on the horizon, which is a preseason game against Hollywood's previous team, the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens drafted Brown with their first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. For three seasons, Brown teamed with quarterback Lamar Jackson and tight end Mark Andrews to form a dynamic offense.
Ultimately, Brown decided he wanted a change of scenery and requested a trade this offseason.
“I loved being at the Ravens. It was just for my career that I had to do [it],” Brown said.
During the 2022 draft, Baltimore traded Brown and a third-round pick to the Cardinals for the 23rd pick in the same draft.
The trade came after Brown turned in his best career performance. Last season, he eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards for the first time but the success didn’t equal wins. The Ravens finished last in the AFC North for the first time since 2007 and missed the playoffs.
In addition to the Ravens being a run-heavy offense with a passing attack focused on tight ends, the time seemed right for Hollywood to look for a change of scenery.
“It’s about happiness. I want to feel like I’m part of something to win,” Brown said. “At the Ravens I 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.”
The receiver won’t play this week against his former team, but he did say he’ll probably have dinner plans with his former teammates when they arrive in Arizona.
If Brown was looking to be heavily involved on an offense, there could not have been a better landing spot then the Cardinals.
Sure, Kingsbury's offense asks a lot from its receivers with its pass-heavy attack, but the real key is Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray or as Brown calls him, his best friend.
Browns said the transition to a new team has been much easier with Murray being on the team.
The duo have been linked since college, when Murray and Brown were teammates at Oklahoma. Now the two reunite in the NFL and the chemistry between the two is already being noticed by other teammates.
“They have a chemistry that you can’t really coach; it just comes from them hanging out,” receiver Greg Dortch said.
That chemistry has only begun to be translated on the practice field. Brown started camp on the non-football injury list and Murray was sidelined with COVID-19 a week later. In the fourth and final week of camp at State Farm Stadium, the two are beginning to share the field for the first time.
Brown and Murray are unlikely to start in any preseason games this year, but Brown feels he and Murray are regular-season ready.
“We get together in the summer, go against some DBs and we're clicking like never before,” Brown said. “ I know him, he knows me. He knows what I like, I know what he likes, so it’s something we just got.”
Although Brown feels ready, Kingsbury said he still wants to see how Brown does with new responsibilities that were not asked of him in Baltimore. He added that he recognizes that Murray's presence and their past success is beneficial.
“His familiarity with the offense, based on his college experience definitely helps and the comfort level with the quarterback is huge,” Kingsbury said. “He’ll feel more and more comfortable as it goes on and I expect by Week 1 for him to understand what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Brown will join a talented receiving room that includes DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore. When Hopkins returns from a six-game suspension, the sky's the limit for the offense. Hollywood got a taste of what that may look like when the team had all four receivers on the field at once for the first time this camp.
“It was crazy, looking across the field and seeing these guys and even watching it on film, it’s crazy,” Brown said. “We just got to make it make sense once we’re out there. It looks good, but if we don’t perform it means nothing."
Last season during camp, Brown was held back by a hamstring issue but the receiver said he is feeling better this year and is at 100%.