A.J. Brown probably knows his quarterback better than anyone on the Eagles.
Brown has been friends with Jalen Hurts since high school, when both were being recruited by Alabama. Both players often talk about their friendship and how it helps as teammates.
“I stated a while ago, he’s more and more like me,” the wide receiver said about Hurts. “I’m more vocal though. He is, too, but I’m more outspoken.
“He is exactly like me. I would speak it and I’ll try and go perform it. He wants to perform it. He wants to show.”
HURTS’ LEADERSHIP SKILLS
There was much talk around Eagles training camp about how Hurts became the team leader. Brown sees it.
- “He does a great job by leading by example,” Brown said. “He speaks up when the time is necessary.
- “That’s the type of guy you need. I’m still learning stuff about him as a teammate but he’s been doing a great job leading us. So we’re all excited.”
Brown said one of Hurts’ leadership skills is his composure amid the pressure of playing and succeeding in the NFL.
“One thing about Jalen is he doesn’t show you any body language,” Brown said. “You never know when he’s high, you don’t know when he’s low … He stays poised at all times and I’m sure everyone sees that.”
COPING WITH PROBLEMS
Brown said the friends have ways to get through any rough patches, which are inevitable playing an emotional, physical game.
“I’m going to talk to him,” Brown said with a laugh. “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter if he has a frown or whatever, I’m going to say what I gotta to say.
“It’s never personal with us. We’re friends first. We’re always trying to get the same thing done at the same time. We do a great job with that, putting our friendship to the side and putting business first.”
Hurts carries a serious attitude. He doesn’t often show his emotions. He’s all business.
- “I’ve yet to learn [about his manner],” Brown said. “I’m learning about him … If he does, it doesn’t show it. Hat’s off to him. I wish I could be like that.
- “One of my favorite TV shows is ‘Snowfall.’ The main character does not show no emotion. He stays calm the entire time, no matter what happens.
- “I wonder if I could be like that.”
Brown was asked if, as his friend, he can get a chuckle out of Hurts.
“I get him to laugh,” Brown said. “I’m gonna keep that between us. He laughs. He enjoys himself. But when he’s in the building, he’s ready to work. That’s the demeanor he has.”
BEING THE NEW GUY
Brown said he’s had no problem being the outsider on a new team — Hurts’ team.
“I’m learning about him as a football player, as a teammate,” Brown said. “I don’t think that’s a problem at all. We have a friendship and it’s never personal.
“If I see something, if he sees something, he corrects something. I correct some. There’s no point in pointing fingers. We’re trying to get the same job done.”
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni appreciates the skill Brown brings to the team, of course, but also his considerable leadership.
- “He’s awesome. He fits in great,” Sirianni said. “Obviously, a guy comes in, and the amount of plays he’s made in this league, has automatic respect of everybody.
- “The way he interacts with his teammates, the way he works on the practice field, he fits great into our culture. We want to get better every day at practice. We want to compete. We want to connect with our guys.
- “And he speaks to all those things. I love having him on the team for his playmaking ability, and I love having him on the team for the person and the teammate that he is.”
BROWN: TEAM LEADER
Brown prides himself as a team leader of this 2022 Eagles roster, too, one who is not afraid to speak up.
“That’s something I’ve grown into,” Brown said. “I work extremely hard and I know the only way you’re going to win is if you get other guys to follow you. That’s what leaders do. Not just talk about it, but be about it. I wouldn’t say a word if I wasn’t doing the right thing. And they know that, too. I had a speech today and you’re holding your best players accountable. When the other guys see you holding your best players accountable, they must fall in line. It’s the standard.”
“So, I’m feel I’m one of the best players here and I hold myself to a higher standard than anyone could hold me to.”
Brown had to say goodbye to former teammates as the Eagles cut their roster from 80 players to 53.
“The relationships are the hard part,” Brown said. “This is a business at the end of the day.
“It doesn’t mean your story ends here, if you get cut. There’s more opportunities out there …. I want to try to keep everybody we can. It’s a business; that’s why I’m here.”