Eagles blog

Sirianni gives the Brown-Hurts frustration spat a 2 out of 10

Nick Sirianni finally talked a little bit more about that A.J. Brown-Jalen Hurts disagreement from Thursday.

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Minutes after the Eagles’ 34-28 win over the Vikings on Thursday night, Nick Sirianni didn’t have much to say about the scene between A.J. Brown and Jalen Hurts in the second half that was caught on camera.

What was going on with those two?

“I don’t know,” Sirianni said on Thursday night, adding that any conversations from the sideline would remain private. “I didn’t see what was going on with that. We were just trying to manage the game.”

A few days later, Sirianni had a little more to say on the topic, downplaying the moment of frustration from Brown that was caught by the broadcast. Sirianni explained that in a game like that, where the rushing attack was really working, there just aren’t a ton of passes to go around.

“Unfortunately, that's just the way it goes,” Sirianni said on Monday afternoon. “But I do believe that all these guys in this building genuinely love each other and genuinely are happy for each other's success.

“Do they want to contribute because they know they're capable? Of course. Do sometimes frustrations run high because they're not able to? Of course. Those are all part of it. I would say on a frustration scale — wasn't able to know fully about it until after the game — but on the frustration scale of what I have seen between receivers and quarterbacks, or whatever, we're talking about a 2 out of 10.”

Shortly after that back-and-forth between Hurts and Brown, the Eagles targeted Brown on two shots to the end zone. The first one was a touchdown that got nullified by a Rashaad Penny holding call. The second fell incomplete as the referee ignored a pretty blatant defensive pass interference. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s probably a good idea to keep Brown involved in the offense.

Still, Brown finished the game with four catches for 29 yards — the second-lowest output of his Eagles career.

“But, I get it. We have to have things to definitely talk about,” Sirianni said. “In my opinion that's what that was. That's a 2 out of a 10. Yeah, you always talk to them about that. It's not the best groups of individuals that win, it's the best teams. 

“Teams sacrifice for each other. That's what happens with a team. Sometimes it's one guy's opportunity to pull the load as a team and sometimes it's the other guy's. Again, our guys understand that because we have good guys on this football team.”

The Eagles are 2-0 but their passing attack hasn’t really come to life yet. They were out of sorts in Week 1 against the Patriots and when the Vikings basically dared them to run it down their throats in Week 2, they did on their way to 259 yards on the ground.

Through two games, the Eagles have a total of 325 passing yards, good for 28th in the NFL. Their leading receiver is DeVonta Smith with 11 catches and 178 yards. Brown has 11 for 108 and Dallas Goedert has just 6 for 22.

Hurts hasn’t quite looked like himself so far but there are still 15 games left in this season. Long way to go.

After Thursday’s win, Brown was not in the locker room to answer questions about the back-and-forth he had with his best friend Hurts. Hurts didn’t have much to say about the incident in his postgame press conference either.

“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.”

There can sometimes be a fine line with receivers who want the football. Brown has that “Always Open” sign hanging above his locker for a reason. He believes it. And he’s certainly not the first receiver to express frustration about a lack of targets. Of course, it’s not a great look in a game where your team has a healthy lead — the Eagles were up 13 points when cameras caught that interaction.

Going forward, the Eagles do have to be cognizant of target share and it can sometimes be a little tricky to make sure everyone is always involved. But as long as this passing offense turns around, there will be plenty of meat on the bone for everyone to eat.

“We won. We won,” Hurts said. “I don’t want to make it bigger than what it is. We’re talking about external factors here, those things don’t matter. What’s said out there, that can potentially divide this group, doesn’t matter. We won.”

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