His Long Wait Over, Hollywood Brown Is Getting Up to Speed


Marquise "Hollywood" Brown has been giving Lamar Jackson rides home after the long days of training camp. How often?

"Whenever he tells me to," Brown said with a laugh.

While being Jackson's chauffeur may fall under "rookie duties," Brown has been more than willing to do anything he can to stay up to speed and develop a bond with his quarterback. They stop for grub and chat about life and, of course, football.

On Wednesday, the two finally got to start building a connection on the field. After being forced to sit out OTAs and minicamp, the Ravens' first-round wide receiver made his debut in the team's sixth training camp practice.

"I was very excited. I've been waiting on this," Brown said. "Being out here made me realize I have to work even harder."

Brown was eased into work, doing just individual and positional drills – no action against the Ravens' defense. But, as Head Coach John Harbaugh said, it's an important first step.

"Hopefully his progression to practice will be pretty fast. We'll see," Harbaugh said. "We don't want any setbacks. We don't have to over-rush him now. But I am looking forward to seeing him out there with other guys in real situations and see how he does."

Brown's speed and quickness were evident on his first day, even as he's still easing in. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey said a Ravens trainer told him that Brown hit 21 miles per hour during his rehab, before he was going full-tilt. Humphrey said he hit 20 miles per hour the other day at full speed.

"I was a little hurt when he told me that," Humphrey said. "But that will be good for [going against] other teams when the season comes."

Asked whether he feels as fast now as he did before his injury, Brown said he didn't know.

"I really haven't gotten to flat out run yet, but as far as just moving around, I feel like I'm moving pretty good," Brown said before joking with a reporter. "I'd beat you."

The Ravens are relying on the electric playmaker out of Oklahoma to strike fear into opponents and take some of the pressure off Jackson and the running game. In order to do that, he's got to make big plays as an NFL rookie.

Brown knows there's a lot more work to be done before that happens. He must shake off the rust accumulated since suffering a Lisfranc foot injury on Dec. 1 in the Big 12 Championship Game. It can be a difficult injury to bounce back from.

While Brown has catching up to do on the field, he said he feels like he's on the same level as his teammates mentally. He's attended every meeting and watched Ravens practices from the sideline.

Outside of practice, Brown said he has been catching passes from Jackson while stationary. After Wednesday's practice, the two stayed on the field to run through some extra plays. Brown said he feels his connection with Jackson will be strong.

"Off the field, we're real tight, real cool," Brown said. "On the field, it'll be like that.

"When I get on the field, we're not trying to just learn everything. He has a sense of how fast I run, and I have a sense of how he's going to throw things."

The Ravens have high expectations for Brown. Fellow third-round rookie wide receiver Miles Boykin has gotten off to an excellent start at training camp and now it's Brown's turn to show what he's got. Brown said he could feel the anticipation building around Baltimore for his debut.

"Miles is my roommate, so every day I hype him up, talk him up. He's been doing a great job," Brown said. "I'm trying to feed off of what he's doing, and once I'm on the field, complement him as best I can."

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