Marquise Brown grew up watching his cousin, Antonio Brown, take on the Ravens in some classic Ravens-Steelers rivalry games.
He said he wasn't rooting against the Ravens back then. He was just rooting for A.B.
But when Brown steps onto Pittsburgh's Heinz Field for the first time this Sunday, he'll be looking to put his own stamp on one of the NFL's best rivalries.
"For sure [I'm excited]. Just being in the atmosphere and environment," Brown said.
"I've watched my fair share. It was a great game, always came down right to the end. Physical game. It's always a tough one."
"Hollywood" Brown's NFL debut was a blockbuster, but the sequels haven't quite measured up. Now he'll be on a big stage looking to have a starring role. (That was a lot of Hollywood puns.)
Brown caught four passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut in Miami. He hauled in eight more catches for 86 yards, including a game-sealing 41-yard snag late in the fourth quarter, in Week 2 versus Arizona.
But in the Ravens' last two losses, Brown has been targeted 16 times and made six catches for 71 yards.
The Chiefs and Browns both gave Brown extra attention. Their cornerbacks gave him extra cushion, with the Browns' backup cornerbacks playing well off the line of scrimmage, and both teams often had safety help over the top. They were determined not to give the Jackson-Brown combo the big play.
"I'd just say we have to execute better, take what the defense is giving us," Brown said. "If they're playing off, we have to attack them and make plays with your feet. If they come up, then we'll go over their heads. We just have to execute that."
Brown has seen this kind of treatment before. His speed caught the college game by surprise too. Opponents see his smaller frame and want to jam him, but Brown made them pay.
"When I first got to college they came up and pressed me the first few weeks and then they backed off," Brown said. "We just have to find ways to make them come back up. I have to get yards after the catch and turn short plays into big plays."
With that said, Brown still believes there are opportunities to go deep – even when getting extra attention. He laughed when asked if he ran by multiple defenders while in college.
"Yeah, I did that for sure," he said.
Jackson indicated that he's not surprised by seeing opponents keying on Brown with double coverage. The Ravens haven't had an offensive playmaker like Brown for a long, long time, and he and Jackson could help change the dynamic of the rivalry.
"We're just going to play football," Jackson said. "He's a great receiver. He had two catches or whatever during the game, but we're going to definitely get him a lot more."
Ronnie Stanley Has a New Attitude This Season
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley has been an excellent blocker since he first came into the league as the sixth-overall pick in 2016. He's incredibly athletically gifted, studies his craft and works hard.
This season, however, Stanley is adding more attitude to his game, and it's getting folks' attention. Stanley is starting to get some of the Pro Bowl buzz that was expected when he was drafted.
The difference has been Stanley's nastiness. Off the field, he's more of a mild-mannered guy, but he's flipped a switch and is attacking opponents more this year.
"Starting this offseason, I made a decision in my head, knowing the type of player I can be and knowing the potential I have. I wanted to make sure I got everything out of myself this year," Stanley said.
"It was a complete mindset change. Just focusing on finishing the play and being as physical as possible, both run and pass, and just being a leader out there that you can see clearly on film for our team."
According to Pro Football Focus, Stanley has allowed just one quarterback hit and two hurries through the first four games. He limited Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who had six sacks in three games, to just one tackle on Sunday.
"I'm happy with the way I've been playing so far, but that being said, I still know there are a lot of things I can do better, and I'm just trying to focus on those and getting better," Stanley said.
Ravens Expect More Curveballs From Steelers Offense
The Steelers got creative to get their first win of the season versus the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-3, on Monday Night Football. Pittsburgh brought back the Wildcat formation with running back Jaylen Samuels, who proved to be a 1-2 punch with starting tailback James Conner.
With quarterback Mason Rudolph making just his third NFL start, the Ravens are expecting some more wrinkles from the Steelers offense.
"The Steelers have a big playbook, so they have a lot of different directions they can go. They went to the Wildcat this last week, so they're going to come up with ideas," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
"[Mason Rudolph] is a young quarterback. He has a lot of talent. They have players around him. They'll try to utilize those guys as best they can, and I'm sure we'll see some things that we haven't seen."
Rudolph, who has taken over for injured Ben Roethlisberger (elbow), improved dramatically in his second start, going 24-of-28 for 229 yards and two touchdowns for a 124.6 quarterback rating against the Bengals.
Harbaugh said the Ravens are mostly concerned with "playing our defense the way we're supposed to play it, everybody doing their assignments with physicality and speed and effort and great tackling, and play the ball well. That's what we're focused on."
Tim Williams Lands With Packers
A day after being released by the Ravens, pass rusher Tim Williams was claimed by the Green Bay Packers off waivers.
Williams will join former Raven Za'Darius Smith, who signed a massive contract this offseason and has gotten off to a strong start with three sacks in his first four games in green and gold.
"We're just trying to do what we can do to become as strong as we can be," Harbaugh said when asked about Williams' release.
"You have to build your team, your roster, into the roles that you have, and that you actually need, to go win games. That's the formula that we came up with with the players that were available, and that's the move that we made."