TEMPE — From getting dealt to the desert this past NFL Draft to wrapping up minicamp on Wednesday and everything else in between, it’s been a busy offseason for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.
And while the team won’t reconvene until training camp in late July, that isn’t stopping Brown from continuing to grind with righthand man and quarterback Kyler Murray as he prepares for his first season in the desert.
“I’m going to work starting tomorrow,” Brown said Wednesday. “Starting tomorrow, I’m going to get my body right and then wherever Kyler’s at, that’s where I’m going to be.”
Over the course of his one OTAs appearance and minicamp, the Brown-Murray relationship is already showing the benefits of dealing for the wideout.
Instead of entering camp pretty much blind, Brown got in ample work with Murray in Texas, picking up valuable knowledge on the offense head coach Kliff Kingsbury runs.
“I’d say comparatively speaking, if you’re talking about a guy who didn’t know the quarterback or didn’t play in a similar system and didn’t get to work out with him and hear the calls, see the signals, I would say he’s way ahead of the curve when it comes to that,” Kingsbury said.
“Kyler can signal things out to him, talk through the offense, how we do things, pace of play, all that and just continue to build that rapport,” the head coach added. “Getting that timing together is huge any time you can have that type of work.”
Kingsbury and the Cardinals are hoping that connection with Murray pays dividends right away, especially with the wideout thrust into a No. 1 role with DeAndre Hopkins suspended the first six games of the season for violating the league’s PED policy.
Brown believes he can bring that No. 1 presence to the offense, citing one of his best attributes as being able to free up those around him.
“I can catch underneath, I can run routes, but I think the biggest thing is I can help other guys get open,” Brown said. “I can stretch the field and open up guys underneath. I can take two people and I feel like when Hop gets back, it’s going to be very fun and exciting.”
As far as what the offense is going to look with Brown as the No. 1 as opposed to Hopkins later on in the season?
“I think Hop is such a dynamic playmaker that when he gets back we’ll kind of see where we’re at, how it’s been going, who’s playing the best where and adjust from there,” Kingsbury said. “But I think we’ll have a plan going in. We want guys to start positionally and go from there.”
– Brown on living in Arizona:
“I love it. You got some different animals out here. There was a rattlesnake in my garage the other day. I got to get used to that.”
– Kingsbury on Brown’s work ethic:
“He works really hard. I know his name’s Hollywood and you would think he’d be chilling, but works really hard. Great practice player — anything you ask him to do he’s going full speed.
“Just quick-twitch dynamic, can really run and for a smaller guy, can really track the ball well down the field and go up and make plays.”