‘It’s just a natural connection’ for Cardinals’ Kyler Murray, Hollywood Brown
GLENDALE — During the 2019 NFL Draft, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver Hollywood Brown held out hope that the college tandem would be reunited in the NFL ranks.
Instead, Murray went No. 1 overall to the Cardinals, while Brown dropped to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 25.
The ideal situation did not materialize. The notion of joining forces once again seemed like a pipe dream.
That was until the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft when the Cardinals swung a trade for the Baltimore wideout.
Opting to add known talent over a first-round pick, the Cardinals not only added another serious weapon to the offense, they accomplished what the duo had hoped for three years prior.
The long-awaited reunion on the football field has been just that for most of training camp, however, with Murray dealing with a wrist issue and a COVID-19 stint and Brown working his way back from a hamstring ailment.
Then came Monday, when Murray and Brown finally linked up in Cardinals uniforms, black helmet and all.
But just because the duo shares a decorated college past doesn’t mean they turn on the cruise control.
“I think (the chemistry is) already built,” Murray said Tuesday. “Obviously you still got to work on it. This is the NFL. What we did is in the past. But it’s just a natural connection. It’s weird, we talk about it and then we haven’t been on the field together in a long time.
K1 ➡️ Hollywood. #AZCardinals pic.twitter.com/sUaxwcZFLb
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) August 16, 2022
“Just chilling off the field it’s like, ‘Damn bro, we’re really on the same team.’ That first practice just being out there, seeing him out there was kind of weird. I’m excited for him to prove a lot of people wrong and make a lot of plays.”
Despite it being such a small sample size, teammates and coaches are already picking up on the duo’s close relationship.
Wide receiver Greg Dortch likened them to a couple of kids having fun in a grown man’s game, calling their connection “a chemistry that you can’t really coach.”
Brown couldn’t agree more.
“Me and him be apart for months, we get together in summer and go against some DBs and we clicking like never before,” Brown said. “I know him, he knows me. He knows what I like. I know what he likes. It’s something that we kind of just got.
“It’s great. … I got to be dialed in at all times,” Brown added. “Same with him. We go at it. It’s pretty cool being here.”
And with the two back on the field, Arizona got its first glimpse of the impressive four-wide receiver set of DeAndre Hopkins, Brown, Rondale Moore and A.J. Green.
Everyone from head coach Kliff Kingsbury to players on both sides of the ball spoke on the dangerous combination that lineup can be.
“When you look out there and you see the lineup, it doesn’t look real,” Murray said. “Coming from my rookie year to now, I couldn’t ask for a better four guys out there so I’m excited. I think we got a lot of depth at receiver, running back. I like what we got.”
Now, it’s about fine-tuning things before both the regular season and Hopkins’ six-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs begins.
“We just to got to make it make sense once we’re out there,” Brown said. “It looks good but if we don’t perform it means nothing.”