Eagles WR A.J. Brown wants the ball, but isn’t a ‘diva’: ‘I’ll never be that guy’
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown got a little dinged up in Saturday’s Divisional Round win over the New York Giants.
Though he didn’t go into detail regarding the ailment, Brown said Wednesday he’ll be good to go in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the visiting San Francisco 49ers.
It was a bit of a bruised ego that was more noticeable against the Giants, as Brown was visibly dismayed on the bench during a blowout win and was seen being talked to by head coach Nick Sirianni.
It’s simply the nature of the playmaker in Brown, the two-time Pro Bowler explained on Championship Wednesday.
“They throw the ball to me 100 times, I’m going to want it 101 times,” Brown said, via ESPN’s Tim McManus. “Me personally, I just feel like I can change the game at any moment. Getting the ball often keeps you going, keeps you in a rhythm. It definitely puts you in a zone; you’re locked in. Of course, I want the ball.”
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A prototypical NFL No. 1 receiver wanting the ball no matter the situation is hardly a novel concept, nor is the stereotypical “diva” wideout becoming a distraction. Brown underscored that he’s not the latter.
“I’m never the receiver to go on the sideline or try to cause problems on the sideline. I’m not that guy,” Brown said. “I think that’s what you could describe as a diva, but I’m not that person.”
In Philly’s 38-7 thumping of New York, Brown had a paltry three catches on six targets for 22 yards. The other half of the Eagles’ terrific tandem at wideout, DeVonta Smith, led the team with 10 targets, six catches, 61 yards and a touchdown. Nice numbers, but hardly eye-popping production as the Eagles won handily after scoring the game’s first 28 points.
Acquired via trade on draft night, Brown’s first regular season in Philadelphia was of the sensational variety. He earned his second Pro Bowl nod, set a franchise single-season record with a career-best 1,496 yards receiving, matched his career high of 11 touchdown catches and his 88 receptions and 145 targets were also tops in his career by wide margins.
Still, it’s unlikely Brown’s wants and demands for the ball are going to be expunged no matter the numbers and it’s unlikely the Eagles want that. But with an NFC Championship Game days away and the potential of achieving the team pinnacle of winning the Super Bowl still alive and well, Brown was certain to point out he’s not a distraction-causing diva.
“I’m a guy who goes up and talks to the quarterback and talk to the [offensive coordinator] and do it that way,” he said. “I’m not a guy that’s going to cause commotion on the sideline. That’s not who I am. I’ll never be that guy.”
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