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Marquise Brown is ready to make big second-year leap for Ravens after bulking up 20 pounds

Marquise Brown is ready to make big second-year leap for Ravens after bulking up 20 pounds

Marquise Brown was hardly himself in his rookie season.

Not only did he have a Lisfranc injury in his foot that hampered his health all season long, but he also played portions of the year at less than 160 pounds. 

On the surface, his numbers didn’t take a hit. He was second on the team in targets (71), receptions (46), yards (584) and touchdowns (seven), but he had more to offer than what he showed in 14 games last season. 

This offseason, he added 20 pounds of muscle and, as he said Wednesday on a Zoom call with reporters, is up to 180 pounds. His foot is feeling better. And Marquise Brown is himself once again.

“I feel I got bright days ahead,” Brown said. “I feel 100 times better than I did last year. So, all I got to do now is focus on the plays, focus on the stuff that I’m supposed to focus on, instead of focusing on my feet and trying to stay healthy.”


Brown’s added weight was the product of a mindset he had about trying to allow himself to undergo the rigors of an NFL season easier than he had a year ago. 

Whenever Brown would catch a pass, he would scurry out of bounds or dive forward to could avoid a hit. While that was certainly a product of the weight he played at and his desire to protect himself, it also had to do with his injured foot, too. 

He wasn’t able to run as fast as he did at Oklahoma, and he still isn’t quite at that speed, either. 

“Sometimes, I would try to make a cut that my foot wasn’t able to make, and I would go down,” Brown said. “Or sometimes, I just know that I’m not going to be able to make that move, so I’ll go down. It was more about getting the yards that I could get, get down, get ready for a next play. It was better for me to be in the game than to be out the game.”

Brown feels better now, and not only that, his teammates have taken notice, too.

“I could tell he put on a lot of weight,” Willie Snead said. “He’s put on a good amount of weight, and you can tell he’s solid now. I know the first thing he said coming into the building is, ‘I’m trying to block somebody. I’m trying to set the tone in the run game, man.’ I could just tell by his build that he took that part seriously.”

The Ravens sent him a GPS tracker while he trained in the offseason, so that while he added the weight, he didn’t lose any of his patented speed. Brown said he’s been able to keep his speed, despite the increased weight now on his 5-foot-9 frame. 

As the team’s top wide receiver, Brown will have an increased workload in his second season not only due to his progression with quarterback Lamar Jackson, but also the Ravens’ desire to pass the football more than they did a year ago.

It's for that reason the Ravens will put a lot more weight on his shoulders this year, as expectations for the organization are sky-high entering the upcoming season.

In that regard, it’s probably a good thing Brown will be a bit bigger in 2020.

“What people fail to realize, when I was at ‘OU’, I was 173-170, so I honestly just gained about 10 pounds,” Brown said. “I actually lost weight last year. To me, I feel back to normal, sort of to say. I feel like myself.”

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Five Ravens that are primed to take a step forward in 2020

Five Ravens that are primed to take a step forward in 2020

As the Ravens report to training camp, notable faces like Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey and Ronnie Stanley are once again expected to be key contributors. In fact, a majority of the team didn’t turnover from last season. 

But still, there are a handful of players who could take a step forward in the 2020 season. Here are five that could make a bigger impact this upcoming season:

Marquise Brown, wide receiver

This is the easiest answer on this list for potential breakout candidates in 2020. 

Brown was targeted 71 times and made 46 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago, all numbers good for second on the team behind tight end Mark Andrews. Impressive totals considering Brown played with a hobbled foot all season. 

Now, he’s put on some serious weight in the offseason and looks primed for a breakout year. 

If the Ravens are going to make their offense more of a passing attack, with a 50-50 split of runs and passes, Brown is first in line to reap the benefits.

Jaylon Ferguson, edge rusher

Ferguson slowly got better as the year went along and now, with a boosted presence along the interior of the Ravens’ defensive line, Ferguson is line to take a step forward in his second season in the league. 

He’ll have to fight for playing time with Tyus Bowser and Pernell McPhee to play opposite of Matthew Judon, but if Ferguson is able to differentiate himself, he could be up for some significant snaps. 

A year ago, he played in 14 games and started nine. In 2020, his role could grow significantly. 


Nick Boyle, tight end

Boyle is one of the more forgotten members of the Ravens’ offense, but that shouldn’t discount his importance. He’s one of the best blocking tight ends in the sport and caught the fourth-most passes on the Ravens last year. 

Make note, Boyle won’t be the team’s leading receiver or the main focus of the offense. Yet with how much the Ravens love tight ends, an increase in production is probable.

With Hayden Hurst no longer on the roster, Boyle could make a leap this year for the Ravens. After he posted 31 catches for 321 yards and two touchdowns a year ago, he could be the beneficiary of an increased workload among Ravens’ pass-catchers.

Miles Boykin, wide receiver

Boykin, who isn’t as popular of a name anymore at wideout with the addition of Devin Duvernay in the draft, Boykin has nowhere to go but up in 2020. 

He had just 13 catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie season, but certainly has the body type for a big red zone target if the Ravens need. And with increased production in the passing game, he could be up for a breakout season. 

Should the Ravens use more three-wide receiver sets this year, there’s a shot Boykin not only sees an increase in production, but also that he improves on his number of 425 total snaps from a season ago.

While Duvernay will have to learn the ropes of an NFL game and offense, Boykin already has a leg up.

Tavon Young, cornerback

It’s not fair to dock a player for being injured, and that’s not the intention here. 

What is noteworthy though, is that Young hasn’t played a game since 2018 when he was one of the best slot cornerbacks in the league. And since he last played in August of 2019, the Ravens’ defense has changed quite a bit. 

The front seven has improved, there’s a first-round pick at inside linebacker, and the secondary has taken steps forward

Marcus Peters has been added, Marlon Humphrey has become one of the league’s best cover corners and Chuck Clark is now a solid starter on the backend. Jimmy Smith is still there, but his role remains unclear. Young hasn’t played a regular season game with Earl Thomas, either, meaning it’s a vastly different secondary he’ll step into. 

With one of the league’s best secondaries, especially considering the team’s depth at cornerback, Young could step into a situation that allows him to play his role better than he ever has before.

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In The Loop: Hollywood Brown's uphill workouts, NBA 2K announces cover athlete

In The Loop: Hollywood Brown's uphill workouts, NBA 2K announces cover athlete

First up in our look around the sports world, Baltimore Ravens receiver Hollywood Brown is at it again with his insane workouts. He’s doing full out sprints up hill, making his way up on one leg, I mean c'mon this should make your legs burn just watching!

Next up, say hello to your NBA 2K21 cover athlete Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard. NBA 2K announced the news earlier today and if your wondering how Lillard is celebrating? Working out obviously, the grind never stops.

Lastly, prepare yourself for a cuteness overload. When he’s not scoring goals, Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog's other favorite hobby is playing the trombone using his little girl. I must say, this is very innovative!