Eagles' A.J. Brown Defends QB Jalen Hurts amid Practice Criticism

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 11, 2022

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A.J. Brown is not only Jalen Hurts' best receiver; he's also the quarterback's most ardent defender.

The Philadelphia Eagles wideout took to Twitter Monday to defend Hurts amid reports of his struggles during the team's offseason program.

AJ Brown @1kalwaysopen_

That practice stuff about Jalen is fake . Y’all tweet and believe anything. Like how can he get sacked on 7on7 and there aren’t any rushers. I believe water is above us . Believe that too and make a article about that too . This app is crazy 😂

Derrick Gunn recently appeared on JAKIB Media’s Sports Take and said the Eagles are "not very comfortable" with Hurts' development.

"This organization is not very comfortable right now with Jalen Hurts," Gunn said. "Now, there’s a lot of time between now and training camp and the regular season. But, as of right now, the results have been iffy on this guy."

Gunn relayed a story told to him in May about a particular sequence of 10 plays when Hurts had three interceptions, four incompletions and three sacks. Brown pushed back on that specific scenario, noting quarterbacks are not sacked in seven-on-seven drills.

AJ Brown @1kalwaysopen_

In a 10 play series <br>Jalen threw 3tds to Me. <br>Donovan Mcnabb and T.O. fought the other 4 plays . Vince papale came out of retirement and had the other 3 receptions. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlyEaglesFly?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FlyEaglesFly</a>

Gunn's comments seem to run the polar opposite of the Eagles locker room, which has been overwhelmingly complimentary of Hurts. Eagles tackle Lane Johnson recently heaped praise on the young quarterback, saying he "demands respect."

"He just carries himself with a lot of poise. I mean, he demands respect," Johnson told MJ Acosta-Ruiz on NFL Total Access. "Just the way he approaches day-to-day activity, how he trains, what he does in the film room. And he's a great motivator. He's a great leader. (He's) super behind the scenes, even during summer, he's connecting with a lot of the guys. Lot of receivers. Doing 7-on-7. Just doing typical work to prepare. I know he's excited about the new guys that we have that we drafted and acquired over the offseason, and really just getting ready to go to work."

Hurts is coming off a solid 2021 campaign that saw him throw for 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns against nine interceptions while adding 784 yards and 10 scores on the ground. His rushing efficiency made him a fantasy superstar, but his passing efficiency left a lot to be desired.

Hurts' 61.3 completion percentage was sixth-worst among quarterbacks who started at least 10 games last season. That said, the Eagles employed an aggressive passing attack that saw Hurts average nine air yards per attempt.

If the Eagles deploy a few more checkdowns next season, Hurts could wind up being a solid modern dual-threat.


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