Jalen Hurts-A.J. Brown Friendship Formed Years Before Eagles

min read
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrate
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Feb 10, 2023, 2:24 PM
  • Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown have known each other for years.
  • The Eagles quarterback and wide receiver are enjoying career years.

Some quarterbacks need months to build tangible chemistry with their wide receivers. All Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown needed was less than 30 minutes of game time.

Hurts, the Eagles’ quarterback aiming to cement his place as a top-tier starter in the NFL, caught a shotgun snap on third-and-4 from his own 42-yard line in the season opener against the Lions. He turned right and didn’t need to look anywhere else. He already knew where the ball was going.

Brown, the Eagles’ new star wideout who was traded to Philadelphia in the offseason, had a Detroit defender draped all over him deep downfield. But he knew the pass would be exactly where it needed to be.

The play was harmony. 

Brown’s reception put the Eagles inside the 5-yard line, a sequence that would be a prelude for what was to come in 2022. 

“If you put in the work with anybody, any quarterback, you develop that chemistry,” Brown said. “You’ve got to build that faith process, that trust process with them in-game, not just working out because he has to trust you and that’s going to come in the game.”

The Hurts-Brown connection was a product of their relationship which had been strong since high school when Hurts grew up in Texas and Brown was raised in Mississippi. Now they were finally playing together and showcasing their talents in unison.

“I think it’s always cool to always reflect on how cool it is to play with guys you’ve known for a very long time,” Hurts said.

Jalen Hurts Super Bowl Betting

Hurts’ passing yards Over/Under is 238.5, and his rushing yards Over/Under is 50.5 as of Feb. 9 in NFL betting. His Super Bowl MVP odds are +140.

A.J. Brown Super Bowl Betting

Brown’s receiving yards Over/Under is 71.5 and his receptions Over/Under is 4.5. He has the fourth-best odds to win Super Bowl MVP at +1400.

Jalen Hurts-A.J. Brown Connection Details

Hurts and Brown are in their first season playing together. But their chemistry has been a catalyst for them reaching the Super Bowl for the first time in each of their careers.

Years ago, Hurts tried convincing Brown to go with him to Alabama. Instead, Brown chose Ole Miss, but their bond stayed strong.

Brown has long admired Hurts’ lead-by-example mentality and relentless focus.

“My favorite quality is his mindset overall. He’s very determined to achieve whatever he wants mentally,” Brown noted. “When you’ve got a quarterback who thinks like that, I think it’s contagious, and it feeds over to the whole team.”

They both made it to the NFL and were drafted in the second round, Brown in 2019 and Hurts a year later.

And neither of their careers haven’t come without challenges. 

Brown rapidly gained a reputation as a rising star, but a chest injury kept him out of multiple games in 2021. Hurts had to serve as Carson Wentz’s backup in 2020. And after he worked his way into the starting lineup, the Eagles were slow to commit to him long-term.

Brown’s faith is paramount to him. He listens to gospel music before games. He said his favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:18, which reads “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Plenty of glory was waiting for Brown and Hurts in 2022. They just needed to be on the same team.

Hurts urged Eagles general manager Howie Roseman to trade for Brown. That didn’t happen until the night of the 2022 NFL Draft when the Eagles negotiated a four-year, $100 deal with Brown, who was acquired from the Titans for first- and third-round picks.

Hurts accomplished his mission at last.

“It worked out this time, and we’ve been enjoying it,” Hurts said. “Kind of hit the ground running, and that’s something we want to do here for a long time.”

In the regular season, Hurts threw for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdowns and completed 66% of his throws while rushing for 13 more scores. Brown caught 88 passes for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns. All of those numbers were career highs for them.

Their bond has benefited their performance on the field. The deep throw against the Lions is only one example of how much it’s helped. 

Brown knows what his quarterback is looking for, and Hurts understands Brown can be dynamic even when covered if given a chance.

This bond will be critical if the Eagles plan to win Super Bowl 57.

“They’ve had a great connection. Both are great players,” Eagles quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson told me. “They work extremely hard on their craft on an everyday basis. To me, and after watching how those guys work, it’s no surprise that they’ve had the success that they’ve had so far.”

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About the Author

Colton Pool

Read More @CPoolReporter

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.