Lane Johnson is the Philadelphia Eagles starting right tackle. He will miss the first four game of the upcoming season due to testing positive for performing enhancing drugs. Among reporters there is a sense that Eagles’ fans should not worry about Johnson missing the first four games of the season due to a PED suspension. The Philadelphia media believes that Jonson is replaceable. They believe this because he is only in his second year and does not have much of a learning curve. The Eagles have also time to prepare for the absence.
The Eagles former first round pick in 2013 did not start his rookie year strong as he gave up a too many sacks. As the year progressed he improved his pass blocking. His run blocking has always been the best part of his because it takes advantage of his athleticism. By the end of the year he was the best rookie offensive lineman and looked like a future all-pro. Last year the team’s offensive line was together throughout the whole year. After Lane’s suspension that cannot be the case in 2014. It was one of if not the best offensive lines in the NFL. The offensive line and Johnson’s success will not be able to continue until week 5.
The Eagles can try to continue their success up front but they will need some help from Allen Barbre during those four games. Barbre is a veteran who earned a contract extension He did get some playing time last year when Jason Peter went down mid-game. A positive from the suspension is that it forces the Eagles to build depth. Depth is the main critique that the Eagles have for their offensive line. The Eagles will go up against Jaguars, Colts, Redskins, and 49ers for their first four games. Three of four of those teams have a powerful pass rush. The exception is the Colts. Since Allen Barbre will be the weakest link along the line, he will be pressured by bull-rushes as opposing teams single him out. At least Lane’s ego will not be bruised from getting beat up by the 49ers deadly pass rush. Without a great offensive line the Eagles may not be able to put up the same great numbers from last year. Everything starts from up front. Let’s hope when Lane comes back from his suspension he does not fall into a sophomore slump which he may be prone to after missing the first four games. He was on his way to become an outstanding player in the for the Eagles but now he is a problem that they have to overcome. Lane Johnson might be use getting away with breaking the rules in his hometown in Texas with his redneck friends but he was not sly enough to hide it from the Roger Goodell and the NFL. It is moronic of him to not get a drug cleared by the Eagles training staff before using it.
Roger Goodell handed out a two game suspension to Ray Rice for beating a women in an elevator and dragging her unconscious body into a hotel room. The Eagles first round pick in 2013 is getting a four game suspension for trying to make himself some more money, help the Eagles win, and make the NFL more exciting. Why should Lane Johnson be punished for getting jacked? In Lane’s mind getting muscles on top of muscles is a medical emergency that he was prescribed PEDs to help. Rice may have only received a two game suspension because he had a terrible season last year. Roger Goodell had sympathy for his former playmaker on a Super Bowl winning team. The Eagles released a statement that had an underlying message of them being ticked off about Lane Johnson’s suspension and use of PEDs. The Baltimore Ravens released a statement regarding Ray Rice that seemed passive. Perhaps if Rice had a dominant season last year or was not on the decline of his career Goodell and Ravens would care more about his demeaning actions. Johnson should take the four game suspension as he a compliment that Goodell believes he is rising star in the NFL. Before the suspension everything was on the up and up for Johnson. He had a great season, got married, and had a kid. Someday Lane will have to explain to his son how what he did is twice as bad as what Ray Rice did. The NFL’s bizarre priorities are making it more difficult for Lane Johnson to support his family than Ray Rice.
Something that irks me about the NFL is that it does not release what the specific PED was that Johnson was taking. The bottom line is Johnson screwed up and it will cause trouble for the Eagles in the trenches. There is always that one guy that has to make it harder on everyone else. Lane Johnson will feel pathetic going through training camp and preseason games knowing that he will not play more than 12 games during the season. Jeff Stoutland, Eagles offensive line coach better yell at Lane more than any other play. Lane Johnson should give $1,000 for every sack the offensive line lets up while Johnson is out as additional punishment. So far this is the worst news that Eagles nation has had during the offseason. At least he will be the healthiest person on the field come week 5.