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HomesportThe Eagles are directing the Brown-Hurts trade into competitive fire

The Eagles are directing the Brown-Hurts trade into competitive fire

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Tim McManusESPN staff writerSeptember 15, 2023 at 02:47 AM ET2 min read

PHILADELPHIA – A heated conversation between Eagles receiver AJ Brown and quarterback Jalen Hurts on the sideline during Thursday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings was about Brown wanting to be more involved in the offense, teammates said.

“That’s part of being a competitor, man. You always want to feel like you’re part of the team, helping the team and stuff like that,” said receiver DeVonta Smith, who led the way with four catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the 34-28 win. “Anytime something like that happens, it’s not a bad thing. He doesn’t attack anyone. He just wants to feel part of the team, and he wants to help us.”

Brown, who finished with four catches for 29 yards on six targets, left Lincoln Financial Field without speaking to reporters.

Television cameras showed a lively exchange between Brown and Hurts at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Coach Nick Sirianni stepped in and spoke with Brown as Hurts walked away.

Hurts proceeded to target Brown three times on the next series, including a 25-yard touchdown pass that was negated by a penalty.

“I think everyone wants to make plays and everyone wants to contribute,” Hurts said. “I have no worries about him. He is a great player, a great teammate, a great friend, and we will do anything and everything to win.”

Sirianni initially said he was not aware of what had happened. When cameras showed his involvement, he responded: “The conversations we have on the field will be private. The conversations we have in our locker room will be private. You don’t need to know what was going on in there.”

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The Eagles’ passing game struggled in the first two weeks. Hurts threw for 193 yards with a touchdown and an interception against Minnesota after managing 170 yards with a TD in the opening win against the New England Patriots. The Eagles’ offense has seen some “crazy stuff” from opposing coordinators over the first two weeks in an attempt to create confusion and slow down the passing attack, center Jason Kelce said. He said he believes it will stay that way, predicting “chaos” for the rest of the season.

Even with new wrinkles from the defensive coaches, the Eagles have clawed their way to a 2-0 record. They leaned on the ground Thursday and racked up 259 yards rushing.

“You want guys to talk,” Kelce said of the Brown-Hurts interaction. “I actually think it’s worse when men aren’t talking. The fact that they were talking at all is a positive.”

“We all have very high expectations. We know we’re really good and we know we have to play better than we are now, so those discussions will happen and frustration will happen.”

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