Eagles Insider

Why Brown doesn't care about making anybody's highlight reel

Eagles Insider

A.J. Brown is a wide receiver with the mentality of a linebacker.

He doesn’t care about running around looking pretty, putting sweet moves on d-backs and speeding untouched down the sideline.

He’s looking for a cornerback to blow up. He’s looking for a defender to run over. He’s looking for contact.

“That just comes with me being fearless,” Brown said. “I try my best to not let one guy tackle me, and if I see one guy I’ve got to get past him.

“I’m not trying to create a highlight reel, I don’t care about being on a highlight reel. I'm not trying to put double moves on or anything like that.

"I’m trying to score touchdowns. However it may look, I get past him, run him over him, I’m trying to score. That’s my objective when I have the ball in my hands. I’m just trying to score.”

Brown has done that 24 times in the last three years on a wide assortment of plays.

His 24 TD catches since his rookie year in 2019 are 10th-most in the league. Since then, Brown has a league-high seven touchdowns of 50 yards or more but also seven of 9 yards or fewer.

He’s a threat from anywhere on the field, and now he’s an Eagle, and this is going to be fun.

“He's going to bring toughness,” offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said. “This guy is relentless. When you watch him on film, he's hard to tackle.


"He's a big-body receiver that's very explosive, and when you see him on the practice field running routes, you can see the play strength, the explosive ability, in and out of breaks, and he just brings a great mindset to that room.”

Changing teams isn’t as easy as just changing uniforms.

Especially when you have to learn a new language that just happens to use the same vocabulary as your old language.

“It’s coming along,” Brown said during OTAs. “I’m learning as I’m going. It was a curveball at first because it is a new offense I have to learn, basically the same words but a different meaning, so just trying to unlearn a lot of things and progress as I go.

“It takes time, just trying to get splits right and everything. I’m learning, I pretty much think I learned the offense in a couple weeks.”

You’d have to go back to DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin to find two Eagles wide receivers who can do the things Brown and DeVonta Smith can do.

From 2009 through 2011, the three seasons Jackson and Maclin played together and were both healthy, the Eagles had the 8th-best record in the NFL and the 9th-best passing offense in the league.

Having two legit receivers is rare around here, but the Eagles certainly have it now.

“It takes the pressure off the other guy,” Brown said. “(If I take) cornerback No. 1 and I go against him, that gives another really talented receiver to go against cornerback No. 2. In my opinion Smitty’s a wide receiver No. 1 and he’s going against a cornerback No. 2 , and I expect Smitty to dominate.

“You can’t really double. It’s great having another great wide out besides you.”

Smith set an Eagles rookie record with 916 yards last year, and Brown has averaged 997 yards in his three NFL seasons.

Factor in Dallas Goedert, who had a career-high 830 yards last year, and Quez Watkins, who ranked 5th in the NFL among wide receivers in yards per target in his first season as a regular and you’ve got a group that should be able to put tremendous pressure on defenses.

“Really excited obviously to have A.J.,” Nick Sirianni said. “He's very talented. This is a talented wide receiver group. Really talented wide receiver group that we're looking forward to working with.”

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube