The sweltering weather had no chance to sap the energy from Marquise "Hollywood" Brown during OTAs on Wednesday.
Whenever Lamar Jackson threw a pass in Brown's direction, he was intent on tracking it down. During his two seasons with the Ravens, Brown has established himself as the team's top wide receiver threat, and his connection with Jackson runs deep. They are frequent offseason workout companions, bonded as teammates and South Florida natives who have realized their childhood dream of making it to the NFL.
Entering Year 3 with the Ravens, Brown would love to improve on last season's production (58 catches, 769 yards, 8 touchdowns), but stats are not at the forefront of his mind. Winning fuels Brown more than anything, and like his close friend Jackson, he is obsessed with doing whatever it takes to help the Ravens claim a Super Bowl.
"The No. 1 goal is the Super Bowl, and there's no other goal you could really think of," Brown said. "That's really what we're chasing. That's all we talk about all the time. Just chilling, we're talking about Super Bowl, Super Bowl, and that's what we really want. Everything that comes with it can come with it, and everything that doesn't come with it, we don't want it."
The Ravens' decision to sign Sammy Watkins and draft wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace could be a huge plus for Brown. Baltimore believes it has more weapons to draw the defense's attention away from Jackson's primary targets – Brown and tight end Mark Andrews.
Brown made a spectacular NFL debut in 2019, scoring long touchdowns on this first two catches, including an 83-yard reception that showed off his game-breaking speed. The message was clear. The Ravens had a new game-breaking deep threat who must be accounted for, and opponents have been rolling their deep coverage toward Brown ever since.
However, as the Ravens continue to evolve offensively, Brown believes adding Watkins, Bateman and Wallace to the mix will give the Ravens more ways to counter whatever defenses throw at them. Brown has already worked out with Watkins, Jackson and Andrews in Arizona, and during their frequent workout sessions in Florida, Brown and Jackson have worked to improve their already impressive chemistry.
"Whenever we can, we're out there, and I think it helps out a lot – just to know what each other is thinking and what he's thinking and just getting timing," Brown said. "Timing – where he doesn't have to know if I'm going to beat the guy. He'll throw it to a spot; I get to the spot. If I don't get to the spot, then it's my fault. So, just those types of things that we've been working on."
Brown has switched his jersey number from No. 15 to No. 5, the number he wore in college at Oklahoma. No matter what number he wears, Brown looks fast. He spent plenty of time last offseason fine-tuning his body, bulking up (added 23 pounds in two months) and strengthening the foot that required Lisfranc surgery in 2019 before he was drafted.
This offseason, Brown is continuing to work on his body, determined to be a player the Ravens can depend on. Some people wondered how durable Brown would be in the NFL, but he played every game last season and only missed two games as a rookie.
"Everybody who works real jobs, 9 to 5, that's just how we've got to treat football, and that's what I've been doing," Brown said. "Every day, 24/7, it's football in some way. I do whatever I can do to make sure I'm available for my teammates and that I'm playing my best game. So, I continued doing that since last year, and I feel good out there, I'm moving around really good. So, I'm excited."
Brown has shown a knack for rising to the occasion in big games. Two of his best performances have come against the Tennessee Titans during the postseason, when he caught seven passes for 106 yards against them as a rookie, then caught nine passes for 109 yards during Baltimore's playoff victory in January.
However, Brown wants to experience something new at the end of next season – being a Super Bowl champion. If that means catching more passes, so be it. If that means the Ravens run the ball even more than the previous two seasons, Brown is cool with that, too.
"Our expectation is to score a lot of points – however we do that," Brown said. "If that's with the least amount of pass attempts, if that's with the most pass attempts – we want to take advantage of everything we get and score the most points we possibly can each and every game."
Whatever happens, Brown is putting in the work this offseason, just like he always does.
"The offseason is still going, so we're still getting better, we're still learning, and there's still a lot of improvement we can make now until September," Brown said. "So, that's what we're going to keep chasing each and every day."