Before he was preparing for the Super Bowl with the Eagles, A.J. Brown was setting the league on fire under former Titans offensive coordinator and current Falcons head coach Arthur Smith in Tennessee.
During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Brown hauled in 122 receptions for 2,126 yards and 19 touchdowns. He earned Pro Bowl honors during Smith’s final season in Tennessee before heading to Atlanta to become the Falcons’ head coach.
Brown thrived in Smith’s system, which featured a ton of play action and targets over the middle that enabled the former Ole Miss pass catcher to hurt defenses after the catch, and he’s giving his former coordinator his flowers.
“Arthur Smith is a really good coach,” A.J. Brown told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He helped me out tremendously.”
After posting back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons, Brown’s numbers took a dip in 2021 when Smith left Tennessee. He was subsequently traded to the Eagles, who gave him the lucrative contract extension that the Titans wouldn’t.
A.J. Brown complimented him further as a man and leader, which Falcons fans have learned by now. His words that should resonate most are the city and franchise are in good hands:
“He put me in the right direction, really giving me opportunities and (teaching) me as a player,” Brown said. “He’s a great guy most importantly. He’s a great leader. So, I think Atlanta is in really good hands.”
The jury is still out on Arthur Smith as a head coach, but the 7-10 record from last season must be commended because of the subpar talent he was working with. Marcus Mariota severely limited Smith’s offense, but the Falcons were still competitive in most of the games this season.
With the second most cap space in the league, expectations in 2023 are much different than they were in either of his first two seasons. I still wouldn’t start to hold anything against him until 2024, though. The Falcons are going through a mass rebuild. The front office, coaching staff, players, and overall culture had to be changed. We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You must log in to post a comment.