During Tuesday's practice, Brown took a short pass off a slant route, faked out one defender in the open field and then accelerated to the end zone without being touched. Brown isn't fully recovered from foot surgery in January, but the rookie from Oklahoma finally flashed the explosiveness that made him the first wide receiver taken in this year's draft.
"I didn’t really get to run; I kind of broke it off quick," Brown said. "I think I only ran probably 19 mph."
It was an impressive catch-and-run considering he extended for the ball and landed all his weight on his surgically repaired left foot, which sidelined him all spring and the first five days of training camp. When Brown pulled in the pass from third-string quarterback Joe Callahan, he was gone in an instant.
"I missed it! That’s how fast he is," quarterback Lamar Jackson said. "I came back, and I was like, 'What happened?' They were like, 'He caught a slant and just went.'"
Brown has had to earn his way with the Ravens. He didn't line up for team drills this summer until last weekend, and middle linebacker Patrick Onwuasor greeted him by saying, "You’re 'Holly' right now. You don’t get the full name."
One of Brown's rookie duties has been driving Jackson to the Ravens facility for practice. They'll listen to rap music or stop to get food on the way home.
Asked how often he gives Jackson a lift, Brown said, “Whenever he tells me."
Jackson was surprised to hear Brown considers himself the quarterback's personal Uber.
"It’s not like that at all," Jackson said. "My girlfriend has the car, so she has to go to work and stuff like that, so I just catch a ride with him, the rookie!”
Was Brown stretching the truth a little bit?
“A little bit, just a little bit, a tiny bit," Jackson said while holding two fingers close together.
The question now is how close is Brown to getting on the field for a game. The past few days provided a mixture of emotions regarding Brown's outlook.
Brown sat out last Thursday's preseason opener before participating in team drills for the first time Saturday and Sunday. But all that optimism diminished when Brown didn't practice Monday.
On Tuesday, he returned for his biggest workload of the summer, receiving a total of 17 snaps in seven-on-seven and team drills. Brown was targeted five times and caught two passes.
It looked like Brown had no problem with his straight-line speed. He just didn't look as smooth when making his cuts.
"It’s going to be a process with Marquise," coach John Harbaugh said. "We’ll see how he feels from one day to the next. It’s healing. Part of it is just getting stronger from the reps. He’s been healing, so he hasn’t been running. There are muscles in there that need to be trained, but he looked great today."
Brown deferred to the team's training staff as to whether he would suit up for Thursday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The more likely scenario is Brown making his debut in the third preseason game.
“It’s a long season," Brown said. "Whatever they tell me to get right, I’m going to do it."
The Ravens drafted Brown with the hopes that he would develop into a much-needed playmaker for Jackson. He averaged 17.5 yards per reception at Oklahoma and led the Power 5 conferences with eight touchdowns of 25 yards or longer.
Brown was one of the fastest players ever evaluated by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay. If not for his injured foot, Brown believes he would have broken the 40-yard dash record at the NFL combine.
On who would win a race between Brown and himself, Jackson said, "He got it. He got it. I just have to throw it to him! I don’t want to race."
Is that something they joke about?
"No, actually, we don’t. I would say he’s faster," Jackson said. "I don’t race. I just have game speed, that’s all."