Lane Johnson just can’t avoid talking about the New England Patriots
More than three months after the underdog Eagles won the franchise’s first Super Bowl, Johnson took more shots at the Patriots, owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick in an unlikely venue: an hour-long interview with former wrestling star Steve Austin for his podcast, The Steve Austin Show.
Discussing the Eagles’ championship run, Austin asked the right tackle about comments he had made back in February, when he described the Patriots as a “fear-based organization.”
“Here’s what pissed me off,” Johnson said. “The Patriots, obviously, I respect their coach; I respect Bill [Belichick], I respect Tom Brady, but just because the way that they won the Super Bowls, the Patriot Way, is that how everybody else is supposed to do the same thing? No, it’s not. And that’s what I got mad at, the arrogance by them.
“There was obviously some stuff behind closed doors. Their owner talking s– to our owner. [Belichick] talking s– to our head coach [Doug Pederson] before the game. I’m not going to say it, but a lot of s– kind of built up to that, and I just got tired of hearing about it, man, to be honest.”
Listen (warning: NSFW language):
Obviously, there’s no love lost between Johnson and the Patriots. Before the Super Bowl, the Eagles offensive lineman called quarterback Brady a “pretty boy” and said there’s “nothing I’d like to do more than dethrone that guy.” Johnson’s criticism continued after the Eagles’ Super Bowl win, when he called the Patriots a “fear-based organization” on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast.
“You only get to do this job one time, so let’s have fun while we’re doing it,” Johnson said back in February. “Not to be reckless, but I’d much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and win five Super Bowls.”
Johnson was also critical of former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, who was fired late in the 2015 season after the team went a disappointing 6-9 after finishing 11-5 in his first two seasons.
“It was definitely exciting whenever he first came in, and we did some good things,” Johnson said. “Then we start getting rid of our best players. You’ve got DeSean Jackson, who can outrun everyone on the field. You’ve got Shady McCoy, who’s going to be one of the best running backs of all time. You just get rid of those guys just like that, and you set a tone. Players didn’t really like that.”
“We major in sports science, which is good thing – we still do it here. But I think we kind of went overboard with that. I think a good way to put it is we majored in the minors instead of focusing on some of the main points that we needed to,” Johnson added, alluding to Kelly’s obsession with sports science. “To be honest with you, if we had won that last Washington game, he may still be here.”
Obviously, it’s not the first time Johnson has been critical of Kelly. After Kelly’s firing, Johnson called him “a dictator” and said it was likely his ego that got in the way of doing what was best for the team.
“Too much power. Control. Not being human about things; not working together, with the team, instead of being a dictator,” Johnson said.
In contrast, Johnson had nothing but praise on Austin’s podcast for Pederson, whom he credits with completely turning around the tone and direction of the franchise.
“The first year was kind of rocky, but once he got into a rhythm, I think he’s one of the best play-callers in the game,” Johnson said. “He never gets rattled. And one of my favorite things he says before every game – let your personality show. Because at the end of the day, we’re entertainers. That’s all we are.”