PHILADELPHIA — A heated conversation between Eagles receiver A.J. Brown and quarterback Jalen Hurts on the sideline during Thursday’s win against 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 you’re a part of the team, helping the team and things like that,” said receiver DeVonta Smith, who led the way with four catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the 34-28 victory. “Anytime something like that is going on, it’s not anything bad. He’s not bashing nobody. He just wants to feel part of the team, 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 an animated exchange between Brown and Hurts at the start of the fourth quarter. Coach Nick Sirianni interjected and had a word with Brown as Hurts walked away.
Hurts proceeded to target Brown three times on the following series, including on a 25-yard touchdown pass that was nullified by a penalty.
“I think everybody wants to make plays and everybody wants to contribute,” Hurts said. “I have no worry about him. He’s a great player, a great teammate, a great friend, and we’ll do anything and everything to win.”
Sirianni initially said he was unaware of what happened. When told cameras showed his involvement, he responded: “The conversations we have on the field are going to be private. And the conversations we have in our locker room are going to be private. Y’all don’t need to know what was going on right there.”
The Eagles’ passing game has 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. Center Jason Kelce said the Eagles’ offense has been seeing some “crazy things” from opposing coordinators over the first two weeks in an attempt to create confusion and slow down the passing attack. He said he believes it will stay that way, predicting “chaos” the rest of the season.
Even with the new wrinkles from defensive coaches, the Eagles have fought their way to a 2-0 record. They leaned on the ground game Thursday and racked up 259 yards rushing.
“You want guys talking,” Kelce said of the Brown-Hurts interaction. “I think actually it’s worse when guys aren’t talking. The fact that they were having an exchange at all is a positive.
“We all have very high expectations. We know that we’re really good and we know that we should be playing better than we are, so those discussions are going to happen and the frustration is going to happen.”