The newest addition to the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver room is Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. After three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Brown was traded to Arizona during this year's draft.
Moving to a new city and learning a new playbook is a challenge, but luckily for Hollywood he is getting by with a little help from his friend, quarterback Kyler Murray. The two athletes have been friends since their days as teammates at Oklahoma and train together during the offseason.
The duo were on the field for the team's mandatory minicamp, but were inconsistent participants at the Cardinals voluntary Organized Team Activities. The time wasn’t being wasted as they both were regularly working out together in the Dallas area throughout the offseason. During their training sessions, Murray used signals from the offense to prepare Brown for minicamp.
“ A lot of the signals I already knew because we were working on them so it helped me out a lot,” Brown said.
The chemistry between Murray and Brown has already shown itself on the football field. In their final season at Oklahoma, Brown collected 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns, all coming from Murray.
The quarterback and receiver were both in the same draft class, but despite hoping they would land on the same team, their journey drove them to separate teams. It wasn’t until this offseason, when Brown requested a trade that their paths would collide again. Since then, the two are inseparable on the practice field.
“We speak every day,” Brown said. “ The good things he likes, the bad things he don’t like and just coming out here and working on it each day has been fun.”
During the two days of minicamp, the friendship between the two was obvious but they both showcased their ability to connect on the field with Murray throwing passes down field during the beginning of practice.
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has a vast arsenal of receiving talent at his disposal this season. In order for Brown to be a productive part of the offense, he and Murray will have to be able to connect at the pace of the Cardinals offense and the timing, according to Kingsbury. But Kingsbury said that the training the two put in this offseason has put Brown “ahead of the curve.”
Brown is also building chemistry with others who aren’t the one throwing a ball his way. On June 4, Brown held a casino night themed birthday party and in attendance were other Cardinals players like Murray and receiver Antoine Wesley.
Brown says that he has received help from almost everyone on the team, from players and coaches getting him up to date on the offense.
“From the time I got traded here, guys reached out to me, and it’s just been embracing,” Brown said.
The state of Arizona also seems to be welcoming the 25-year-old receiver who said he has to get used to the wildlife. Brown said he already had a rattlesnake in his garage.
Brown, and the rest of the Cardinals will now take a small break until they return in late July for the team's training camp. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to relax or let up on his preparation.
“Starting tomorrow [I’m] getting my body right and wherever Kyler's at, that's where I’m going to be,” Brown said.
The hope is that they will both be present for Day 1 of training camp.