Philadelphia Eagles dismiss trash talk from San Francisco 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk
PHOENIX — Brandon Aiyuk wasn’t in the building when the Super Bowl 57 teams kicked off the week of media sessions with "Super Bowl Opening Night" at Footprint Center on Monday night, but the San Francisco 49ers receiver still had something of a presence in the place.
Aiyuk raised some eyebrows when he declared recently during a YouTube interview with TheSFNiners, a fan outlet, that the Philadelphia Eagles were “extremely lucky” to advance to the Super Bowl and that the 49ers are “hands down” the best team in the NFL.
Of course, the 49ers were drubbed by the Eagles in the NFC title game in a contest altered by quarterback Brock Purdy’s elbow injury.
“I just think that’s bad sportsmanship,” Eagles cornerback Darius Slay responded to Aiyuk’s comments. “They did a lot of talking, about physicality and all this kind of stuff. Now they want to blame something. They weren’t complaining when they were 8-0 (with Purdy), so I don’t know what they’re complaining about now.”
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Purdy was injured on a hit by Haason Reddick on the 49ers’ first possession, then backup Josh Johnson suffered a concussion during the third quarter of the 31-7 rout.
“That’s the game,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said. “We know how this game goes. You’ve got to stay healthy.”
Aiyuk, though, has chosen to express his disappointment with some over-the-top trash talking. He maintained, according to NBCSportsBayArea.com’s account of the interview, that if he were going to bet on the game, he would wager heavily on the Kansas City Chiefs. He also predicted that the Chiefs' passing game will expose Philadelphia’s defense as the 49ers had planned.
“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” said Reddick, key to a unit that led the NFL with 70 sacks. “We’re not worried about how anybody feels.”
If the Eagles needed a dose of bulletin board material to spice up the week, they’ve got it — albeit not from any of the Chiefs.
Then again, they are also in the perfect position to let Aiyuk’s comments roll right off their backs.
After all, Aiyuk is home and the Eagles will be playing for the Lombardi Trophy.
“You know what? Everybody’s going to be at their Super Bowl party, and they can judge off of that,” Graham said of Aiyuk’s assessment. “We have to go out there and prove it one more week.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brandon Aiyuk comments get response from Eagles at media night