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Brian Johnson: ‘The play doesn’t care who makes it’


Photo Credit by John McMullen/JAKIB Sports

PHILADELPHIA – It’s not about targets for A.J. Brown, it’s about spots.

The best pure football player on the Eagles wants the football when the game is on the line and that has been the source of any perceived frustration, according to team sources.

Brown is typically very accessible and accommodating to the media and has shut down over the past two weeks, sparking theories that range from anger at the coaching staff to mental-health struggles, all the way to the cliched diva-like behavior that has become a trademark among star NFL receivers.

Brown posted on social media that he plans to speak to the media Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex and things should be cleared up a bit as the Eagles try to reboot after losing four of their past five games with the playoffs looming in two weeks.

Star players wanting the ball in big situations isn’t exactly a bad thing, according to offensive coordinator Brian Johnson.

“For sure. But I also think that all of those guys are more than capable, and we always talk about the play doesn’t care who makes it,” said Johnson. “We’ve got a lot of guys on this team that can make plays and that have made plays throughout the course of their career and throughout the course of their time here. We have a lot of faith and confidence and trust in all 11 guys out there.

“And when you do get in those high-leverage situations, guys are ready and willing to go out there and handle business and make plays when their number is called.”

Johnson is also savvy enough to realize that the player does care who makes it.

“Yeah, I think the player does care,” he said. “Those are the type of people you want is you want people who want the ball in their hands.”

Call it the Jordan effect.

“There is no doubt in my mind with the game on the line, Jalen Hurts wants the ball in his hands. A.J. Brown wants the ball in his hands. DeVonta Smith wants the ball in his hands. Dallas Goedert wants the ball in his hands,” Johnson said. “Michael Jordan wanted the ball in his hands. But sometimes like that ball got passed to John Paxson and Steve Kerr, and they hit the shot as well.”

It’s a fine line in the ultimate team game.

“This is a team game, and it forever will be a team — it is the ultimate team game, and it takes everybody, every single time,” said Johnson. “Fortunately for us, we have a bunch of guys who are more than capable of taking over games and being the best in the world at what they do.”

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