Eagles Insider

Sunday will hold extra meaning for A.J. Brown after birth of his son

Eagles Insider

The whole night was emotional. When it got even more emotional for A.J. Brown Thursday night was when his daughter Jersee first came into the hospital room.

“My emotions really came when my daughter saw her brother for the first time,” Brown said Friday. “That was big for me. She loves it. She calls him Baby Brother.”

Brown and his wife welcomed their second child, first son, Thursday evening. A.J. Junior – Arthur Juan Jr. – arrived around 8 p.m. Brown said baby and mom are both doing fine, but it’s been a crazy week. 

Brown missed practice Wednesday and Thursday but was back for Friday’s session at the Linc.

“It was definitely a breath of fresh air,” he said after practice. “Just to get outside. I’ve been in the hospital for like 48 hours straight. Just to get some fresh air and be around the guys. They welcomed me and supported me while I was gone.”

Just before Brown chatted with a few writers, receivers coach Aaron Moorehead stopped by his locker and dropped off the playcard for Sunday’s game at the Linc against the Jaguars.

He knows he’s a little behind and has a lot of work to do before kickoff. But it’s more than just preparing. It’s compartmentalizing and focusing on football after one of the most important moments of his life.

“The mental part of the game has to go up extremely,” he said. “I have to lock in, I have to focus, I have to visualize, I have to do as much as I can to make sure I’m ready to go.”

 

In his first year with the Eagles, Brown is off to an explosive start, with 20 catches for 309 yards and a touchdown for the NFL’s only undefeated team. 

His 309 yards are 5th-most in the NFL and 9th-most in Eagles history through three games, most since DeSean Jackson had 359 in 2013. He’s only the second Eagle in the last 40 years with at least 69 yards in each of the first three games of a season. Since T.O. did it in 2005.

Brown said Friday he doesn’t expect to have any problems preparing for the 2-1 Jaguars despite what could be a huge distraction.

“I don’t think so, because when I’m at home I’m always enjoying my family,” he said. “I try to separate the two. Once I leave here, I’m a dad, you know? I’m a father. That’s big for me. When I’m here I’m working. Once the kids go to bed, I do what I’ve got to do to get ready for the game.”

Brown said that when his daughter was born, his outlook on football really changed from an individual approach to a broader one.

“It just wasn’t about me,” he said. “It wasn’t about me anymore. I play this game because I want to be the best, but also I want to provide for my family, too. Now that I have a little boy, a little son, it means the world to me. Hopefully, I can play long enough for him to understand that his dad’s in the NFL.”

As Brown spoke, someone noticed that he was still wearing his hospital ID wristband on his wrist. As soon as he finished chatting, he was heading back to the hospital.

“Sleep is tough,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been a tough 48 hours. But I’ll get some rest. We both have family here to help out. We’ll figure it out.”