HomeDa Birds NewsSirianni Expresses Excitement over WRs Without A.J. Brown, Says He's Not Worried

Sirianni Expresses Excitement over WRs Without A.J. Brown, Says He’s Not Worried

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If watching the Dallas Cowboys fall to the Green Bay Packers showed the Philadelphia Eagles anything it’s that the opponent on the field doesn’t care which team is favored to win.

So when the Eagles face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday they know they’ll be in for a fight despite being favored on the road against the same team they beat in Week 3.

Week 3 was a long time ago, and both teams are much different now, especially with Philadelphia having to play this game without star receiver A.J. Brown.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) and wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrate a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s going to be similar to when you asked me about [TE] Dallas [Goedert], or, whoever else,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said about the plan to replace Brown. “It’ll be different guys, and (I’m) really excited about our guys. I mean, I think that’s been a big-time strength – or one of our big strengths as a team — is the pass catchers we have. And when you look at it, you think about A.J., you think about Dallas, you think about [WR] DeVonta [Smith]. And then you think about [RB] D’Andre [Swift] and the role that he has, as well. And I’m not even mentioning [WR] Julio [Jones] and those guys, and [WR] Quez [Watkins] and OZ [WR Olamide Zaccheaus], who’ve made plays throughout the year, as well, so excited for those guys to get a little bit more opportunity.”

Sirianni isn’t trying to shy away from the seriousness that is Brown’s absence, but he’s confident in the other players around quarterback Jalen Hurts to believe there will be opportunities to move the ball against the Buccaneers.

This will be the first game Brown has missed since arriving in Philadelphia via an NFL Draft weekend trade with the Tennessee Titans two years ago. 

But the Eagles have run 121 snaps this season without Brown on the field for one reason or another and when they do there’s a noticeable reduction in the use of 11 Personnel (one running back, one tight end) and a rise in 13 Personnel (one running back, three tight ends). 

Now, some of this is bound to be because Brown was off the field specifically to use heavy packages at times, but it also presents a trend that may play right into game conditions on Monday.

Weather in Tampa is expected to be warm but wet with a 71 percent chance of rain and four-mile-per-hour winds.

This type of environment would make it more reasonable to run than pass, and without Brown available it might actually take the pressure off Hurts and offensive coordinator Brian Johnson who have faced an unhappy receiver at times when he wasn’t getting the ball thrown to him as often.

Related: Eagles Will Play Lions “If” They Beat Bucs; Divisional Kickoff Time Revealed

So is it possible not having Brown could be turned into a blessing in disguise? We wouldn’t go that far.

But, if both teams find themselves grounded due to weather, Philadelphia might lean on the strength of its offensive line to try and grind out a messy win.

The reward for doing so would be an indoor game next weekend against the Detroit Lions.

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