AJ Brown defends quarterback Jalen Hurts

PHILADELPHIA — Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown isn’t afraid to voice his thoughts on social media, especially when it comes to defending his best friend, quarterback Jalen Hurts.

In fact, Brown is so supportive of Hurts that he was photographed arriving at the Eagles compound Tuesday with the words “Hurts SZN” on his hat.

So Brown was quick to shoot down a report earlier this month that Hurts had a terrible 10 thro streakws during a spring training held in late May or early June, during which Hurts was intercepted 3 times and “sacked” 3 times.

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On Wednesday, Brown was asked why he felt compelled to defend Hurts over the report by longtime Eagles reporter Derrick Gunn, who relayed on JAKIB Media what a source told him about Hurts’ performance. That day.

“It’s important because he’s my team’s quarterback, number 1, and he’s my friend, number 2,” Brown said. “And the story wasn’t true either. False stories come out about quarterbacks, and this and that. Guys have to understand that it’s a practice. Just like today, there was an interception. It was a great play by (safety Marcus Epps).

“You have to understand these are the times when we try things. I’m not going to win every rep. He’s not going to land every throw. And that’s just part of it…So you gotta understand that this is just practice, so I just want to clear up the false narratives.”

Hurts certainly won most of his shots Wednesday in the Eagles’ first practice of training camp.

Working mostly in red-zone situations, Hurts twice made beautiful throws to wide receiver Quez Watkins – the first a back-of-the-shoulder shot into the end zone, the second a throw across his body to Watkins. behind the end zone.

Hurts threw an interception when Epps made a nice play in the corner of the end zone on a fly ball intended for Dallas Goedert. Hurts nearly threw another interception when his arm was hit by an offensive player as he tossed the ball into the flat. The ball jumped straight through the air and defensive end Brandon Graham put his arms over it, but couldn’t hold it back.

Hurts, however, laughed off Brown’s defense. He said he called Brown out of the blue one morning and asked what he was up to, not knowing that Brown was on social media defending him.

He said, “I’m on Twitter talking trash, whatever,” Hurts said. “I said, ‘What happened? He said, “They talk crazy. They talk about you. I’m like, ‘OK, what did they say?’ And he’s like, “some BS”, and left it at that.

“I didn’t even know he did it, to be honest. It was laid back for me. It must have been a slow day.”

Shorter and harder practices with more rest days

The Eagles appeared to be doubling down on their philosophy started last season under head coach Nick Sirianni of shorter practices. But instead of going 70-90 minutes like they did last year in training camp, the Eagles opened camp with a 58-minute practice Wednesday.

Additionally, the Eagles are in place with a walkthrough on Thursday before returning to practice on Friday. There are four walkthroughs and two days off scheduled in the first 16 days of practice, leaving just 10 days of practice before the first preseason game on August 12.

“It all depends on the health of the players,” Sirianni said, citing fewer soft tissue injuries last season.

But Sirianni also found that soft tissue injuries “skyrocketed” on the third day of training. He said Tuesday, report day, was a conditioning day, followed by practice on Wednesday.

“Is it different? Yeah (compared to) what we did last year, but the other thing you get is you get more high-volume days because of this step-by-step not,” Sirianni said. “It’s just a different way of doing it… It doesn’t mean we’re not going to have soft tissue injuries, but we’re doing everything we can to prevent those things.

“My job is to make sure the team is ready to play. So I have to listen to the experts… It’s not just blind faith. It’s educated (guess) on how we do the things. Sometimes I have to make tough decisions about what to do and what not to do.”

Camp Observations

∎ Center Jason Kelce, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and safety Anthony Harris did not practice Wednesday because they had just beaten COVID-19 and are getting back into shape. All three were watching from backstage. The NFL is no longer testing for COVID-19. The three should return soon. Wide receiver Zach Pascal did not practice due to illness.

∎ Rookie Cam Jurgens replaced Kelce at center with the first unit. K’Von Wallace replaced Harris at safety while Marlon Tuipulotu, not rookie Jordan Davis, took first-team reps in place of Cox.

∎ In addition to Epps’ interception, cornerback Zech McPhearson had a nice break up on a pass to DeVonta Smith in the back corner of the end zone. Smith came up to try to catch the ball as McPhearson stayed with him and pushed the ball away.

Contact Martin Frank at [email protected] Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

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