New era notes: Cardinals’ Hollywood Brown focused on ‘getting right’
Aug 2, 2023, 7:25 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2023, 11:21 pm
GLENDALE — Among the storylines seven days into Arizona Cardinals training camp has been the very limited work on the field by No. 1 wide receiver Hollywood Brown.
Most days, he can be seen taking in team drills from the side with what head coach Jonathan Gannon calls “bumps, bruises and nicks.”
On Wednesday, though, he was given a bit more leash, taking part in some 11-on-11 work in what was a very low tempo day for Arizona at State Farm Stadium.
It’s all part of the plan for the Cardinals and Brown, who is expected to take on a bigger workload as the team’s unquestioned No. 1 receiving option.
“They’ve been doing a good job since I came here just trying to get me back to 100%,” Brown said. “I’m just trusting the process and taking it day by day.
“Just getting right, getting stronger, getting better,” he added when asked what exactly he was working through. “Just trying to get anything from the past behind me.”
While Brown saw some more action on Wednesday, linebacker Myjai Sanders and tight end Trey McBride logged another nonparticipation day.
Offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum also didn’t take the field with a veteran’s day off while tight end Geoff Swaim did little.
A day after the team cut it loose on Tuesday with the addition of pads for the first time all camp, there was a noticeable change of pace.
As we’ve seen this camp and during offseason workouts, Arizona is taking a measured approach to the output its players are putting in.
Some days will be cranked up, others will not.
Wednesday was the latter.
Don’t worry, the intensity should kick back up Thursday before things elevate to another level for the Red & White practice.
OL movement among the 2s
After seeing most of his work as Arizona’s second-team center throughout training camp, rookie offensive lineman Jon Gaines slotted in as a right guard during Wednesday’s practice.
Taking over in place of Gaines was veteran and recently signed lineman Pat Elflein.
Elflein has slowly seen more and more work since joining Arizona’s ranks just before camp kicked off last Tuesday.
The lineman gives Arizona another veteran option with experience at the position, with Elflein turning in 40 starts at center and 24 at guard across six seasons (65 games).
Driskel the tight end?
The Cardinals tight ends room has been stretched thin this camp with Zach Ertz, Trey McBride, Geoff Swaim and Joel Honigford either not participating all together or practicing in a limited fashion.
In their place has been camp standout Noah Togiai, Blake Whiteheart, Bernhard Seikovits and quarterback Jeff Driskel.
That is not a typo.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound signal caller again took some reps as a big-bodied pass catcher for a second consecutive day.
No CB decisions just yet
All signs point to incumbent starting cornerback Marco Wilson returning to his role in 2023.
But outside of him, there are a number of names to consider at CB2, notably second-year pro Christian Matthew, rookie Kei’Trel Clark and veteran Antonio Hamilton.
Matthew has seen more first-team reps than the other two, though Clark has gotten a lot of looks with both the 2s and 1s. Hamilton, meanwhile, has seen most of his work with the second team.
So with camp seven days in, just how close is defensive coordinator Nick Rallis to naming his starting lineup at CB?
“Not close,” he said Wednesday. “There’s good competition right now. We got a lot of camp to go and I got to see who is going to emerge to play certain roles in the secondary, specifically at corner, and throughout the whole defense.”