Now that A.J. Brown is here, how does he fit with DeVonta Smith? What can each player do for the other on game day?
A.J. Brown isn’t the guy you bring in to take the top off of the defense but he is the guy you want holding the ball when the game is on the line. The physicality that Brown plays with is very smooth and artistic.
He’s not the tallest guy, not the fastest guy, but he is a very well-balanced receiver. Brown has been known for breaking off tackles consistently; he’s had moments of dragging defenders by the waist side as he continued to fight for more yards.
That isn’t DeVonta Smith. Smitty is all about finesse. He’s smooth when running in and out of his breaks. He’s one of the better route runners in the league at such a young age and his big-catch ability is only getting better. While A.J. referred to Smith as a “speedster guy”, DeVonta isn’t going to break open because of his speed, but more so because of footwork and a quick release off of the line of scrimmage.
These two receivers complement each other very well. While defenders are focusing on keeping the ball out of A.J. Brown’s hands; they’ll also have to find a way to keep DeVonta Smith in front of them. Smitty and Brown have both proven that they can create enough separation on their own to make magic happen downfield.
With A.J. Brown’s presence on the field, defenses will have to move their more physical defenders to cover him in hopes that they can keep his impact limited with some of their physicality, and that should lead to some huge opportunities for DeVonta Smith.
Not many teams have a solid CB2 on their roster that can shadow one player for an entire game. Not many have a defender that can keep up with a player like Smitty. DeVonta’s route running will be far more impactful with a Brown by his side as it’ll reward him with more freedom on the outside or inside.
As for Brown, having a player that will keep defenses honest like DeVonta Smith will be key for his role in Philadelphia. They want to get the ball into the hands of the more physical receiver when the game is on the line. Brown does a great job of owning his territory when he boxes out defenders and analyzes where to place his hands for a Norte comfortable catch.
The great thing about both receives is their versatility. That’s what Nick Sirianni wants in this offense. It’s all about having the advantage of moving Smith or Brown inside or outside on any given play. It will allow Sirianni to take advantage of defensive formations and help him find the wrinkle in the coverage. Once the wrinkle is located, you then will be able to see Smith and Brown flourish in the yards after catch department.
That’s what this offense will be based on. A shorter field with enough space for their receivers to operate on after they get the ball in their hands. Hurts will also benefit greatly from this as this will allow him to be more accurate while also relieving him of having to make throws downfield that could result in turnovers.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this new duo plays out. The Eagles have never had a tandem like Smith and Brown before. While they did have DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin together in their primes; Smith and Brown have the potential to surpass any ceiling that the previous duo had.
With the season still a ways to go; it’s going to be an interesting waiting period as Eagles fans will be clamoring to see this duo on the field together. Fortunately, it looks like this duo will be together for years to come.
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