A.J. Brown Steals Show at Eagles Training Camp: Takeaways

A.J. Brown

Getty Images A.J. Brown warms up prior to a game in 2021.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — The Philadelphia Eagles offense now has all the pieces to take flight.

Philadelphia entered the offseason needing to dramatically elevate the passing game, and provide quarterback Jalen Hurts the kind of playmaker who could not only be an after-the-catch weapon, but also speed up Hurts’ process of getting rid of the football early in his progressions.

A.J. Brown seems primed to fill both voids, in a big way.

Early in practice on Saturday, August 6, Hurts launched a deep ball downfield on a post pattern to Brown, who went full extension over safety Kary Vincent, and without breaking stride pulled down the pass before sprinting into the end zone for a touchdown.

Just A.J. Brown doing A.J. Brown things.

The Eagles have built a potential juggernaut around Hurts. Especially with Brown having the ability to both get behind a safety and also serve as a security blanket on third down and manageable, paired with DeVonta Smith’s precise route-running and ability to take the top off a defense, along with the reliable hands underneath of tight end Dallas Goedert. If Hurts elevates his game as a passer, this offense will be as versatile and difficult to defend as they come.

Last season, Hurts finished as the NFL’s 21st-ranked passer with 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. The Eagles need him to be much, much more prolific if they are going to surpass lofty preseason expectations.

However, the Eagles did not have a single 1,000-yard receiver in 2021, with Smith coming 84 yards shy of that benchmark.

Brown’s presence creates the opportunity for this offense to produce multiple 1,000-yard receivers based on the attention he’ll undoubtedly command from opposing secondaries. Likewise, Hurts numbers could see a dramatic uptick, as a result.

That’s the formula Philadelphia is hoping to ride to the postseason.

Here are key takeaways from the Eagles’ August 6 training camp practice.


Kyzir White Brings Steady Veteran Presence

Throughout his career, Kyzir White has shown a knack for constantly winding up around the football.

Last season, White posted a career-high 144 tackles, including 90 solo, while adding 7 tackles for loss, and 1.0 quarterback sack.

While the Eagles will absolutely take any contribution White can make as a pass-rusher up the middle, the 26-year-old’s presence from a leadership standpoint is invaluable.

Saturday, White’s instincts in coverage shone through, when during a 7-on-7 period the former Charger jumped the route and batted a Jalen Hurts pass away from Miles Sanders.

White is slated to start alongside rising fourth-year linebacker T.J. Edwards and Haason Reddick, one of the Eagles’ major offseason additions, but given coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s propensity for deploying matchup-oriented personnel, don’t be surprised if White winds up taking snaps at middle linebacker and making a major impact there.


A.J. Brown rises to occasion at Philadelphia Eagles training campPhiladelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown looks the part of a dominant and dynamic playmaker on the receiving end of passes from quarterback Jalen Hurts, as Matt Lombardo of heavy.com’s NFL training camp tour continued with a stop at #Eagles camp. Subscribe for more instant NFL analysis: youtube.com/c/MattLombardo975?sub_confirmation=1 Follow Matt Lombardo on Twitter: twitter.com/MattLombardoNFL I…2022-08-06T18:52:32Z

Miles Sanders’ Interesting Series

There’s no question that Eagles running back Miles Sanders has entered this camp with a sizable chip on his shoulders.

“Just get the respect that I finally deserve,” Sanders recently told reporters was his mission in 2022, the final year of his contract. “That’s all.”

Saturday underscored exactly why the Sanders conundrum is such a significant one for this coaching staff, and front office.

Early in an 11-on-11 period, Sanders fumbled the exchange from quarterback Jalen Hurts, after putting the ball on the carpet seven times through his first three seasons. But, just three plays later, Sanders burst through the line of scrimmage off a block from left guard Landon Dickerson for a would-be touchdown.

Sanders’ burst out of the backfield makes him a home run threat, it just comes down to him harnessing that consistency, and the Eagles coaching staff committing to making him the bell cow.

Expect Kenneth Gainwell to get his touches, but this running game should funnel through Sanders, and he showed exactly why during this practice.


Undrafted Rookie to Watch

It will take a Herculean effort for Britain Covey to make the Eagles’ roster, and climb the ladder inside a crowded receiving room. Still, he made a couple of flash plays running with the second-team offense and quarterback Gardner Minshew.

Covey took off on a slant pattern and beat the defensive back by about two steps before Minshew threw a perfect strike that the Utah alum pulled down for a big reception.

As the Eagles’ exhibition opener looms next Friday against the Jets, the 5-foot-8 and 170-pound Covey could be a player to watch. If he makes an impact on special teams, potentially as a returner, Covey could make a strong argument to stick as the Eagles’ sixth receiver coming out of camp.


James Bradberry Rebound Coming?

By all accounts, Bradberry has gotten off to a fast start to this training camp.

Playing opposite Darius Slay, who intercepted Hurts during an 11-on-11 period, Bradberry seems locked into covering a side of the field, rather than traveling with a team’s top receiver.

Saturday, Bradberry tipped 2 passes, and seemed to be far similar to the player who held opposing quarterbacks to a meager 70.1 passer rating in 2020, than what he put on film a year ago in a Giants scheme where he appeared miscast being asked to play off-coverage.

Good luck to opposing quarterbacks attempting to throw against this cornerback duo.


Next Stop

Heavy’s NFL training camp tour continues in Ashburn, Virginia and Washington Commanders camp on August 16, perhaps with some additional stops in the interim, before getting a look at the New York Giants and New York Jets’ joint practices in East Rutherford on August 25.

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