Eagles Weekly: Can Philly’s offense be just as dominant in 2023? Details revealed from Owens-Douglas “encounter”

Eagles A.J Brown
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 04: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrates a touchdown during the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 4, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles are currently preparing to defend their NFC title for the 2023 season. Along the journey from now until training camp the Eagles team from PSN will continue to break down the schedule and give you season predictions for the teams biggest playmakers.

Here is the latest news and analysis for the birds:

A tougher schedule won’t stop the Eagles from being the most dominant offense in the NFL in 2023

Philadelphia Eagles’ A.J. Brown reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

According to Pro Football Focus, Brown was targeted 34 times on slant routes last year, 10 more than any other NFL wideout. He caught 26 of those passes for a combined 386 yards. 19 of them went for first downs, and he averaged 7.72 yards per route ran. 

As an isolated stat, this is impressive. What makes it truly exceptional is that Brown also grades out as the league’s 2nd most efficient receiver when running ‘go’ routes. This is no coincidence. 

A.J Brown is a human cheat code. He stands at 6’1, 226 lbs, and is an absolute menace at the catch-point. He also just so happens to have a real suddenness in his breaks and enough speed to challenge any NFL DB vertically. A slant is basically the first few steps of a go-route with a cut inside. Brown consistently forces corners to open their hips early before flipping his own and bursting inside with acres of separation, providing an easy 10+ yard gain for best friend Jalen Hurts.

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Eagles QB Jalen Hurts opens up on his leadership style & vows to quantify worth in 2023

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts is seen on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Is he boring? A little. Who cares. Hurts is doing his best to clean up the polluted world of professional sports in an unexpectedly refreshing way. The mature-beyond-his-years 24-year-old attempted to explain his forward-thinking leadership style during an interview with Rob Maaddi on the AP Pro Football Podcast. He wouldn’t compare or contrast himself to Tom Brady (or anybody else) despite Maaddi’s best attempts to bring other star quarterbacks into the conversation.

“Being a great leader looks different for every … it looks different for different people,” Hurts said. “In the end, for whatever reason, I’ve been summoned that, but I just try to go out there and set the right example and earn the respect of my peers. That’s always been my number one [goal], and then I think it’s crucial that people understand that people lead because their peers let them lead. 

Just because you’re the star player, just because you’re the guy or whatever it is, that doesn’t guarantee that everyone will follow you. It’s about setting the right example and being true to yourself. And being true to the people around you.”

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DeVonta Smith ready to become one of the NFL’s elite receivers in 2023

DeVonta Smith eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 14: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) celebrates his touchdown during the game between the Washington Commanders and the Philadelphia Eagles on November 14, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Although it did take time for the Eagles to divide the target share between A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, the young wideout still found a way to finish the season with 1,196 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns on 95 receptions.

The Slim Reaper/Skinny Batman found a way to be a big-time playmaker in a crowded offense. With players like A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert, and Miles Sander, Smitty did more than his fair share when the ball was in his hands. He averaged 12.6 yards per reception and caught 70% of his targets. He also more than doubled his previous total of 220 yards after the catch with 490 yards after the catch in 2022.

Now while the debate about him being a top 10 wide receiver is still out there. I am going to put several things in perspective to help build the case for the Eagles WR. DeVonta Smith finished 9th in receptions, 8th in receiving yards, and 11th in yards after the catch. Based on that alone, you would think he’s a top-10 wide receiver.

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Eagles great Terrell Owens breaks down ‘encounter’ with Hugh Douglas

Terrell Owens
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles helmet sits on a cart during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagle on December 22, 2019, at Lincoln Financial Filed in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

“Tensions were high at that time, so I got up out of there. And we had a little bit of a confrontation, an encounter, and it wasn’t really any contact or blows thrown. I made my presence known. He made his presence known. Jeremiah Trotter can probably do a better job telling this story than I can. He got in between us so I wasn’t afraid of him [Douglas] at this point. Bro, I get who you are. I see how big you are but that didn’t deter me. At this point, I’m like you’re not going to disrespect me because I already knew where the energy was coming from. Donovan and me, we weren’t really getting along at the time, this that and the other.”

Okay, let’s rewind the tape for a second. Terrell Owens was listed at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds versus Hugh Douglas at 6-foot-2 and 281 pounds. So, yes, the All-Pro receiver was giving up nearly 60 pounds to a player who literally got paid to destroy quarterbacks. He was significantly overmatched, although it could be argued that no one was stronger than Terrell Owens in his prime. He was a physical specimen then and looks to be close to his playing shape even today.

To read the full story, click here.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire