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Spadaro: The undeniable impact of A.J. Brown

Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro

We see the impact wide receiver A.J. Brown has had on the Eagles' offense – his numbers jump off the page. In eight games, he has 43 receptions, 716 yards, and six touchdowns to become only the fifth Philadelphia player ever to have 700-plus receiving yards and 6-plus TDs in eight games. Brown is a player defenses must account for on every play and he adds to a myriad of matchup nightmares that work in the Eagles' favor.

More than anything, Brown is having fun. The instant the Eagles announced that they acquired him from Tennessee on the first night of the 2022 NFL Draft and Brown and Jalen Hurts recorded a video phone call celebrating the deal that would team two great friends, a vision was in place.

"You never know when you come to a new place, a new team, how it's going to work out, but we definitely started dreaming," Brown said. "And to tell you the truth, everything we talked about has come true. It's been amazing. We're playing good football. We're winning games. I love the locker room. I love the organization. The fans, man, they've been giving me love since Day 1.

"I would say, yeah, it's been as great as I could ever imagine."

Here's the really cool part because, as well know, it takes a village, right? And the village, the locker room, loves Brown right back. The impact Brown has had on the field on gamedays and nights has been significant, but to his teammates, it has been a positive every day.

DeVonta Smith, WR: "He's always teaching. If he sees something that we do at practice that's not right, he's going to correct us on it, let us know what we could have done better and things like that. Even if it's something that we do that he likes, he asks us what did you do here? He's a guy that helps people and always wants to learn from other people."

Dallas Goedert, TE: "It's fun; both Jalen and A.J. are tremendously hard workers. And they go and prove it every day. Shoot, it's nothing really new to me. I get to see A.J. do this each and every day at practice. But for him to do it under the lights makes it all the better. He's a special player. He's a special talent. I'm, really glad Howie (Roseman, Executive Vice President/General Manager) did what he did and brought him here.

"We go ones versus ones (in practice), so if A.J. wants the ball he has to go against (Darius) Slay and James (Bradberry) who are both really good corners and he's never going to be denied. He's gonna go out there and do anything he can to win those routes and they're doing the same thing, doing everything they can to not let A.J. catch the ball. So just iron sharpens iron, you know. He's never going to take a play off. He's always going hard."

Zach Pascal, WR: "He a dawg. I mean, he raises everybody's game – in practice, in the game, regardless, you know he's a competitor competing. And we just all love winning. We don't like losing, so it's a great vibe for the whole team. He's a great player for the team and I love to see him do his thing."

Jason Kelce, C: "When you see him, you're like, 'Holy cow!' This guy certainly looks the part. You just watch him every single day. I think he's a guy that looks better when you're going full speed and tackling because it's something that in the offseason, it's just run around in shorts and stuff like that is impressive, but you don't get to really enforce your physicality. And then when guys are trying to tackle him on slant routes and all sorts of things like that, I mean, he is a big-time playmaker in this league, has been for a long time, and I think it's pretty evident."

Zech McPhearson, CB: "If you don't go against him every day like we do, it's really like good luck to you. Look at him (points across locker room), he's like 6-2, 6-3. Big body. He can run, hands are crazy. Every time I guard him in practice, it's like the last play of the Super Bowl for me. I got to lock in because he's just that good of a receiver. If you let off, it's a catch, whether it's an explosive catch or 5 yards, he's going to catch the ball.

Lane Johnson, OT: "Just catching those balls, and doing whatever the hell he wants to over the top. He just had a hell of a game (against Pittsburgh). Just one of those games where I'm sitting back there blocking and I see the ball up there and I see him make catch after catch. Special player."

Special player, special trade, and now, at 8-0, a special start in Eagles history. And we're just now entering the second half of the 2022 regular season, which resumes on Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field against the Washington Commanders.

"It's one of those things where you just can't wait to get back out there," Brown said. "I think that's how we feel as a team. It feels like it's been a long time since we played, so we just have to take it day by day and fine-tune our work and come out and be sharp against a really good defense in front of our home crowd. It's going to be electric."

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