Look for a new signature cheesesteak to hit the menu at a local pizzeria and sandwich shop. A.J. Brown recently paid a visit to Angelo’s Pizzeria in South Philadelphia where he manned the hot griddle and learned how to prepare the city’s most famous food staple.
When he was done cooking, the owner promised to name a cheesesteak in the Pro Bowl receiver’s honor. Working title is the YAC.
Owner Danny DiGiampietro was a nervous wreck as Brown chopped ribeye steak and used a spatula to blend in onions and Cooper Sharp cheese. He didn’t want to be the person who scarred the best hands in Philly with burn marks. Crisis adverted there. Brown cooked it to perfection and declared his creation a “10 out of 10.”
“That was everything,” Brown said. “They gonna name a sandwich after me called YAC or something like that. We working on it. We working on the details. We’ll get back to you on that.”
Brown’s dangerous chef skills were on full display in a new episode of “Days Off” from Whistle. His best friend Jalen Hurts appeared in a weather-themed episode earlier this season. Brown – a proud native of Starkville, Mississippi – has been making a concerted effort to get to know his adopted city.
“I tried to do my homework on Philly and get acquainted with it as fast as I could,” Brown said, “and I just learned as soon as possible that this is a fan base or a city, that’s another way to put it, that loves their sports. They love their players. They are diehard fans.”
And it’s been nothing but love since a blockbuster trade landed Brown in Philly back on April 28. Sorry, not sorry, Tennessee.
“I’ve only been here a short amount of time, but it’s been the best,” Brown said. “They show so much love if you play the game the right way, you know? And you take accountability for your mess-ups. It’s been everything I imagined. It’s the best fans in the world.”
Funniest Teammate? Darius Slay, Hands Down
Ask anyone in the Eagles’ locker room who their funniest teammate is and the answer is inevitably Darius Slay. He’s a serial joke cracker, always laughing and smiling, and a guy quick to bestow nicknames (see: Swole Batman, Fast Batman, Skinny Batman). Slay is serious about locking down receivers, but he prefers to keep the mood light on the practice field.
“That guy brightens up the room all the time,” Brown said, via Whistle. “He’s always laughing and joking. It’s not too serious when you’re around Slay. He will never let you get serious. When Darius Slay gave out the nicknames Swole Batman, Fast Batman, Skinny Batman I went and ordered the cape off of Amazon.”
Brown has morphed into a real-life superhero on the field. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder finished the regular season with 88 catches for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns. He set a new single-season franchise record for receiving yards, as well as the franchise mark for most receiving yards in a player’s Week 1 debut. He’s been better than advertised, especially on short routes over the middle where overmatched defensive backs struggle to tackle him.
“My mentality is don’t let one guy bring me down,” Brown said. “If you’re coming to tackle me you better bring the hat, the hard hat. My personal goals for this season is to remain even and don’t get too high, don’t get too low, but also have fun. I don’t put no number in my head, to try to aim for, only just to have fun and enjoy the moment because when you do that, I think that takes care of everything else.”
Connection with Jalen Hurts Unstoppable
Brown’s connection with starting quarterback Jalen Hurts is, in a word, unstoppable. The two are best friends off the field and their chemistry was apparent going back to the first day of training camp. Brown had 10 receptions for 155 yards in Week 1, including a 54-yard bomb from Hurts right before halftime. It was the perfect start to a historic season.
“When I first got the trade news I was nervous but also excited. My relationship with Jalen, as everyone knows, he’s my best friend,” Brown said. “We had always talked about playing together and now here we are in Philly playing together He’s my quarterback and I’m his receiver. It’s been everything I imagined.”