Philadelphia Eagles

How Smith and Brown plan to help each other


It’s hard to tell who’s more excited: DeVonta Smith or A.J. Brown.

Smith gets the legit co-No. 1 wide receiver that he didn’t have last year, and Brown gets to play across from one of the most promising young wideouts in the league.

“Oh man, I’m excited,” Smith said. ”Just to learn from a guy like him. Any time you play football you watch all the different receivers just seeing what everybody has in their toolbox, so him being here and just being able to learn from him (is valuable).”

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Smith had 64 catches for 916 yards and five TDs as a rookie, and Brown has averaged two yards shy of 1,000 yards in his first three NFL seasons.

Smith is 23. Brown is 24.

This is going to be fun.

“Him just being a guy that’s been in the league a couple years now, just the experiences he’s had, the things that he does, some of the routines he has, just things like that that can help me elevate my game,” Smith said.

Smith didn’t waste any time contacting Brown when he learned they would be teammates.

“Smitty reached out to me,” Brown said. “I know he's excited and I'm excited to work with him. 

“He’s got a lot of talent. He's a speedster guy. You know, he gets in and out of his breaks. Great route runner. So he is a special guy and then I'm gonna go and bring more physicality. So I think it’s good.”

As we wrote in our piece about the top receiving tandems in Eagles history, the Eagles have rarely had two above-average wide receivers in the same season.

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Only three times in the last 25 years have they had two WRs with 850 yards. Which isn’t that many yards.

That was DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin in 2010 and 2011, and Maclin and Jordan Matthews in 2014.

The Eagles have never had two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season.

So Brown and Smith have the opportunity to do some things that no Eagles have ever done.

“It can be really special, man,” Smith said. “I’m just glad I can be a part of it. I’m going to do my part and try to just bring what I bring to the table.

“Everybody watches everybody so everybody just being able to be around him, so what he’s good at and things you can take out of your game and put into yours.”

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Smith stands a wiry 6-foot, 170 pounds, and Brown is a chiseled 6-1, 225.

Smith said having a bigger, more physical receiver to learn from will be huge for him.

“It gives the offense a different dynamic,” Smith said. “But at the end of the day as a receiver you have to use your hands and things like that, and with him being a bigger guy he’s going to be more physical. 

"So you take things like that from him of how he uses his hands because still at the end of the day I’m a smaller guy but I still have to use my hands when I release.”

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