Eagles followers cherished Terrell Owens, and plenty of nonetheless do. He was flamboyant on and off the subject and made the 2004 Eagles look unbeatable till they met Tom Brady and New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Owens, in time, additionally tore aside the Eagles throughout the 2005 season and in two years was executed in Philadelphia.
Don’t look now, however one other massive character is upon Eagles’ fandom in 6-foot-1, 224-pound A.J. Brown, who the Eagles acquired on draft night time by buying and selling the 18th general choose to the Tennessee Titans for Brown, who was then rewarded with a brand new four-year, $100-million deal by the Eagles.
He’s not afraid to talk his thoughts. He’s not afraid to poke enjoyable at the hated Dallas Cowboys (making him an on the spot fan favourite) and he’s not afraid to inform anybody how good he’s—as a result of he’s.
All traits Owens possessed in abundance. It’s a built-in byproduct that comes with most prima donna extensive receivers.
Brown, who has 185 receptions for two,995 yards and 24 touchdowns in three NFL seasons, might be the greatest extensive receiver deep risk the Eagles have had since Owens—and he’s nonetheless enhancing.
The one evident distinction between Brown, 24, and Owens is after they turned Eagles. The 2004 Eagles have been on the verge of a Super Bowl. This workforce shouldn’t be. Owens put the Eagles over the prime. Brown is a evident lacking piece that may make the Eagles NFC East contenders, however is he prepared to develop as this younger workforce grows?
He walked right into a profitable state of affairs in Tennessee. He didn’t must be a pacesetter. They have been already constructed into the Titans, who made the playoffs every of the three seasons Brown was there, compiling a 32-17 regular-season report and profitable two AFC South Division titles and two playoff video games. The Eagles, in distinction, have gone 22-26-1 with one NFC East division title and no playoff victories throughout that very same span whereas trying to re-establish an identification after profitable Super Bowl LII.
Owens created a lot of the friction that ultimately led to his ouster in Philadelphia. He overtly criticized Donovan McNabb, he precipitated dissention inside the workforce, and every thing fell aside to some extent the place then-head coach Andy Reid and then-team president Joe Banner felt obligated to launch Owens in March 2006, having performed just one full season with the workforce.
Brown off the subject doesn’t seem like nowhere close to the headache Owens turned out to be. For one, Brown is shut with Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts, which is a monumental assist. Secondly, he doesn’t seem to have the over-sized ego Owens had—not but anyway. T.O. got here to the Eagles as a longtime star. Brown is working his manner in the direction of that.
In mid-April, Brown acquired blowback for not attending the Titans’ offseason program, not afraid to voice that he needed a greater deal. “I’m a diva and a bad teammate all of sudden, lol ok,” Brown tweeted. “Do what you have to do then and so will I.”
Titans’ followers will inform you Brown and TO have a lot in widespread—on and off the subject; that Titan administration removed him at the most opportune time earlier than he shredded the material of the Titans like Owens ripped aside the 2005 Eagles.
The Eagles and their fanbase might want to discover that out for themselves, relying upon the Eagles’ success with Brown.
Paired with DeVonta Smith, Brown will be a part of the greatest receiving tandem in the NFC. They’re already the greatest in the NFC East, and so they haven’t performed a down collectively.
The Titans have Derrick Henry. Although he performed in solely eight video games final season on account of harm, the Titans nonetheless didn’t throw the ball that a lot in 2021: 535 occasions.
The Eagles threw fewer (an NFL-low 494).
That modifications this season.
So might a brand new refrain that after flowed all through Lincoln Financial Field 18 years in the past ring once more, when Eagles’ followers regaled TO with melodic reward “T-O, T-O, T-O!”
How does, “A-J, A-J, A-J” sound?
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter primarily based in the Philadelphia space who has written characteristic tales for SI.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, MLB.com, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a particular undertaking piece for ESPN.com referred to as “Love at First Beep.” He is most famous for his award-winning ESPN.com characteristic on highschool wrestler A.J. Detwiler in February 2006, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.