Thursday, January 12, 2023

The injured Eagles starter delivers a promising ‘next step’ update

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The Philadelphia Eagles start with the right tackle Lane Johnson is targeting a playoff return after suffering a torn hijacker on Christmas Eve. He has missed the last two games of the regular season, but everything indicates that he is heading in the right direction.

Johnson, a four-time Pro Bowler, went to twitter to give an update on his status in a WWE-style promo in which he tosses the Golden Title over his shoulder. Johnson delivers a fiery 49-second speech from his famed Bro Barn gym and reminding everyone that the playoffs go through Philadelphia. He also drops an interesting nugget about MRIs and waiting for results.

The 32-year-old said: “What the hell are you doing here in my house? You think you can just go over there and skip stages and do whatever you want? Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3, NFC Esat Champions, Bye Week, Big Playoff Game – Score, Score, Score, Score.

“But people forget the process, the steps, the next step, the next step, similar to an MRI, sometimes you have to wait for the result before tweeting it out to the world for something that’s not meant to be TRUE . The playoffs come through Philadelphia, but the WWE Golden Title comes through me.”

Johnson has never hidden his affection professional wrestling over the years. He posed for photos and jumped on podcasts with Stone Cold Steve Austin and others. Perhaps after his football career he will take on a role in the ring.

Meanwhile, on January 23, WWE is hosting the 30th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw at the Wells Fargo Center. The event came to Philly in January 2018 when John Cena — a fervent sports fan from Boston — recited the fight song to the delight of the Eagles and the crowd. A week later, the Cenas Eagles beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Johnson is arguably the most important chess piece on the board for one of the NFL’s most dominant offensive lines. Look beyond the Pro Bowls and the towering, ripped physique and turn on the tape. Nobody beats Johnson 1-on-1 on an island, including cowboy stud Micah Parsons. According to teammate Jason Kelce, he is the best right tackle in football.

“He’s been the best pass blocker with the right tackle in a while,” Kelce told Audacy’s SportsRadio 94WIP. “Really nobody has been in its stratosphere in the last ten years, except maybe Mitchell Schwartz. He’s a leader, so other guys are attracted to him before the game, during the game and after.”

Jack Driscoll caught it in proper tackle in Johnson’s absence. He posted a 74.6 pass-blocking grade in Week 18 against the New York Giants — the lowest number in the starting group, but a respectable one — for a unit that gave up just three quarterback rushes on 42 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

Pro Football Focus presented its annual awards earlier this week. The Philadelphia Eagles were named Best Team Offensive Line, with the website crediting all five starters, “Nothing approached a weak link.” Johnson was named Best Pass Blocker and Best Offensive Lineman. Here is what they wrote:

Additionally, the Eagles had five players selected for the Pro Football Focus All-Pro team: RT Lane Johnson, LB TJ Edwards made up the first team, while C Jason Kelce, WR AJ Brown and CB James Bradberry made up the second team formed.

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