Eagles’ AJ Brown explains how he’s different than every other wide receiver

Why Brown is different from every other wide receiver appeared first on NBC Sports Philadelphia

AJ Brown is just different.

Different from other wide receivers. Certainly different than any receiver we’ve seen in an Eagles uniform in a while.

He plays wide receiver like a linebacker, embracing contact, steamrolling defenders, using his strength and power as much as his speed.

Eagles fans are set to get their first real look at Brown in the season opener against the Lions next Sunday. However, he recently spoke at length about his shooting style and shed some light on what makes him such a unique talent.

“Growing up I watched Julio (Jones) a lot, so that’s how he plays the game, in a physical way,” Brown said. “And that’s how I try to play the game.

“Whatever I have to do to catch up with you. I’m not out here trying to prank people, I’m trying to score a touchdown every time I get the ball. Crazy thing about it, man, whenever I touch the ball my mind runs. This is. Run. Because every time a guy stops his legs, I got him.

“And I’m just looking for that little subtle attitude and I know I got him. Because I know I’m running. And once I will be in front of him? I don’t think they’ve caught me yet.”

Brown has good speed. He ran a 4.49 at the 2019 Combine, which was 18th fastest of the 37 wide receivers who ran. The middle of the package.

For comparison, Nelson Agholor (4.42), John Hightower (4.43), Freddie Mitchell (4.46), Jalen Reagor (4.47) and Marvin McNutt (4.48) all ran faster.

But speed alone doesn’t make a great receiver, and Brown learned early on that he could make up for his lack of blazing speed by using his strength and fearlessness to make plays.

For some receivers, the game is over when they catch the ball. For Brown, that’s when it begins.

“This is something I do, the dog in me,” he said. “What do I want to do after the arrest? I think this is because a man only has a heart. I’m not afraid. I play without fear on the field. And most of the time I know kids don’t want to face me. So I know that and I try to keep running. I run through the handle. I go through every conception.”

More: Smith reveals the best thing Brown taught him

Brown had 185 catches for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns in his three years with the Titans, averaging 70 yards per game.

The only receiver in Eagles history to average 70 yards per game is TO He averaged 94. Which is crazy. But he only lasted 21 games before self-destructing.

Brown isn’t the physical specimen that TO was — and still is — but at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, he reminds you a bit of Irving Fryar, who was probably the last Eagles receiver who played like Brown does.

Fryar used his physicality to record Pro Bowl seasons for the Eagles in 1996 and 1997, and the Eagles expect the same from Brown.

More: The magical transformation of the Eagles’ WR corps

How does a guy with average speed for an NFL wide receiver have more 50-yard catches over the last three years than anyone else?

Running through people as well as passing them.

“I run down the field and I don’t stop when the ball comes,” he said. “I run every catch and try to keep my feet on the ground as much as possible.

“So every time my feet leave the ground, he’s got a step on me now so he can come in and tackle me, but if I keep both feet on the ground when I’m running, that’s what I try to practice. Running through the arrest. Running through every catch.”

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