When the Philadelphia Eagles traded for wide receiver A.J. Brown, they knew they were getting an upgrade to their receiving corps. They also got a big shot of confidence, as the 25-year-old brings a mindset that not every receiver has.
“Even when I’m covered, I’m open,” Brown explained to the media on September 7. “Give me a chance. That’s my mindset, good thing is Jalen knows my mindset, so I’m excited.”
Brown was answering questions about that mindset due to a sign he hung by his locker, declaring himself “Always open.”
“That’s new to Philly, it’s funny, I should have took that down, but it’s cool though,” Brown told a group of reporters who asked about the sign. “I kind of forgot you guys [in the media] were coming in.”
Brown clearly prides himself on battling for contested balls, making catches in traffic, and using his body and positioning to create opportunities that other receivers might not be able to create.
Brown caught 63 passes on 105 targets last year for 869 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games. The year prior he got 70 balls on 106 targets and racked up 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Standing 6’1 tall and weighing in at 226 pounds, Brown presents a different challenge to defenses than his counterpart, DeVonta Smith, who’s earned the nickname “The Slim Reaper” due to his slight frame. Smith measures 6-feet tall and weighs 170 pounds.
Brown and Eagles Leaning Into ‘Dawg Mentality’ Even as Favorites
Much has been made about the Eagles increasingly good chances to contend this year. First, they were picked to run away with the NFC East. Then they garnered Super Bowl picks. That led to veteran center Jason Kelce launching a profanity-laced monologue about not getting comfortable.
Brown seems fully bought into that mentality and he wants it to last all season.
“The message this week is like dawg mentality, but to be honest, I feel like that should be our mentality each and every day,” Brown suggested. “I try to pride myself on that, bringing that dawg mentality, and living by that each and every day.”
That echoes the sentiments of head coach Nick Sirianni. “We talked a lot about the daily process, everything like that but we talked about dawg mentality today,” Sirianni said at his September 7 press conference. “Just what that means and how important that is for a season. What that means is you’re on to the next play regardless of if what happened was good or bad the play before.”
“What you can control on that next play is constantly your intensity of which you go about your business, your attention to detail for your job description and what you need to do to accomplish a job and your fundamentals and what you need to do. And also, your attitude.”
Eagles Starters Completely Healthy Going Into Opener
It appears the Eagles will have their full array of starters healthy going into the season opener. Running back Miles Sanders proclaimed himself “absolutely,” ready for Sunday today, while they got similar news about center Jason Kelce yesterday.
That left defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, and he gave the all clear today according to Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Eagles will be missing backup tackle Andre Dillard for extended time.