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Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown have moved past Super Bowl loss, seeking identity for 2023 Eagles

PHILADELPHIA — There isn’t a specific look that Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown visibly show when Super Bowl LVII is brought up. Both of the Philadelphia Eagles stars embrace the questions, even if they have moved forward with the defeat. 

The Eagles had one of their best teams in franchise history last season. Arguably the best team that didn’t win a championship. They got championship rings for their accomplishments, yet that’s not the ring neither Hurts nor Brown want on their finger.

“We’re not riding on that high. We lost. There is no high,” Brown said after the first training camp practice on Wednesday. “Everybody knows what the goal is around here. We know we gotta prepare for the work and put in the work.”

Brown himself said the Super Bowl loss was enough motivation for him to put in even more work this offseason. The Eagles aren’t resting on their laurels either, especially Brown — after he set the franchise record for receiving yards in a season (his first in Philadelphia). 

“There’s always room for improvement,” Brown said. “Anybody can achieve more if you stay dedicated, stay disciplined, work hard. That’s our mindset. We’re not comfortable with where we are.

“If you have a complacent mindset, I think that would be tough. But that’s not me. That’s not any of the guys on our team. None of the guys around me, anyway. I want to continue to grow, continue to get better. 

No surprise Brown picks up that mentality from his best friend. Hurts already has a high standard for himself and his football team, only increasing with high expectations. 

“We haven’t done anything,” Hurts said. “It’s a new journey. It’s about what we do now and the precedent that we set now and the standards we set for ourselves moving forward. Raising that standard.”

The mentality has even changed in the NovaCare Complex. There isn’t a giant championship banner for winning the NFC. There isn’t a “new norm” or a phrase that lingers over the franchise for the entire season. 

Last year was a learning experience. That NFC championship is barely mentioned around the building. 

“You understand things have to happen for you to move forward. If you fail, you want to fail forward,” Hurts said. “We know what our goals are, but it’s a day-by-day process in that. This time of the year is very important for the foundation of what the team will be.

“As you go through things, goals change — but standards don’t. The only thing that changes with the standard is that it rises.”

The Eagles learned from failure. They’re building for something greater. 

“Everything is a learning experience. Right now is setting an identity and finding out what this team will be,” Hurts said. “It’s different from year to year.”

So what’s that identity in Hurts’ mind? 

“Whatever wins,” Hurts said. “Simple as that.” 

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Author: Jeff Kerr
July 26, 2023 | 7:51 pm

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