Posts Tagged ‘Lane Johnson’

Philadelphia Eagles’ goal against the Rams: Get LeSean McCoy going

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Time for Shady to get things started.

Time for Shady to get things started.

As the 3-1 Philadelphia Eagles prepare to face-off against the 1 -2 St. Louis Rams this afternoon at the Linc, questions abound. Will the offensive line return to some of its former glory with the return of Lane Johnson from his suspension? And please, oh please: Is this the game when LeSean McCoy will FINALLY turn up and get something going?

Rams quarterback Austin Davis, though inexperienced in the NFL, has completed 72% of his passes in three starts. The Birds defense is ranked just 23rd against the pass in the league, and according to ProFootballFocus, Cary Williams is the most targeted corner in the league since 2011. That said, the Rams are not a team filled with offensive weapons, so if Philadelphia can stand firm and not give up big plays, they should be able to contain whatever the Rams try to get going.

As for the Eagles offense, the team has got to find a way to get LeSean McCoy going. “Embarrassed” by his performance last game, even with the battered line Shady has to make it work. And this is a good game to try: the Rams have given up 155 rushing yards a game this season, also allowing a 100-yard rusher each game. Will Shady finally get on the way to 2k? Currently at 2.7 yards per carry, he’s got a loong way to go to reach his stated goal for the 2014 season.

Philadelphia’s o-line will have their hands full with uber-defensive end Robert Quinn. He is just waiting to rack up some sacks, with zero this season after finishing second in the league in 2013 with 19. With Foles already battered and bruised, the Eagles can’t let that happen. He’ll be matched up against Jason Peters, the best left tackle in the league, which will make for an important battle to watch closely during the game.

There’s a big difference between being 4-1 and 3-2. An Eagles defeat against the Rams won’t settle all uneasiness about what this team truly can and cannot do, but it would help dull the queries for a little while. Major goals of the game are to keep Foles standing and get Shady going. If those two tasks can be accomplished, Philadelphia should be able to enjoy the first day that truly feels like Fall football in Philadelphia.

Now, to get your giggles on about the Rams, view this atrocious music video to accompany the team’s song “Ram It,” when the franchise was in Los Angeles in the ’80s. Overheard on 94WIP yesterday afternoon, as bad as the song is, the video is infinitely worse. Enjoy?

Follow Philly Sports Muse on Twitter and Facebook

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Wild ride sees Philadelphia Eagles land on top in opener against Jacksonville Jaguars

Monday, September 8th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





It was truly a tale of two halves. The first half was a nightmare; the second, a revelation. Seriously, weren’t they playing Jacksonville? Why were the Philadelphia Eagles such a mess?

In the opening quarters of the game, Foles was unsteady, holding the ball too long. The confidence of last season seemed to elude him. His first half achievements included throwing a red-zone interception and fumbling the ball twice. Much of the offseason chatter revolved around whether Foles could continue his consistent performances. The opening minutes of the 2014 season appeared to tell us that, perhaps, it wouldn’t be as certain as we anticipated.

But not so fast. It’s a 60-minute game, and in case we had forgotten, things change in an instant in the NFL.

Was it, somehow, the way Chip Kelly had drawn up the game plan? “Oh, God no,” said Kelly.

Whatever occurred in the locker room at halftime to right the many, many wrongs of the first half in Sunday’s game worked. Suddenly, the 17-0 shutout became a 34-point run by the Eagles for which the Jaguars had no answer, with Philadelphia securing a convincing 34-17 win.

Thank goodness for special teams, who kept the opening half carnage less than it would have been otherwise. Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee did the Eagles a solid by missing a 50-yard field goal attempt. Then, when the Jags had an opportunity to extend their lead to 21-0, special teams did the damn thing and DE Brandon Bair blocked a 36-yard FG attempt.

After an awful opening quarter, the defense came back to put in a solid performance. Safety Malcolm Jenkins thought the Eagles being tested early was ideal.

“A team that hasn’t been tested can’t be trusted,” Jenkins said. “This was our opportunity to show what we’re made of, to show what we’re going to do when we face some adversity. I think we responded well.”

Part of the impressive response came at the end of the game to sign, seal and deliver an Eagles win, with big man Fletcher Cox recovering a fumble and taking it in for a 17-yard TD.

The turnaround began with a 49-yard touchdown run by Darren Sproles in the third quarter.  Can you say, great offseason pickup? The run was the longest of his career, and helped ignite an Eagles offense in desperate need of a spark.

Jeremy Maclin was in fine form for his regular season return, with Foles hitting the wide open receiver for a 68-yard TD in the fourth. He finished the day with 97 yards on four catches.

Even on a bad day, Foles threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns. Foles recovery from a bad performance in many ways may have given us more confidence in him than a perfect outing with no issues. You need to know that, even when rattled, your QB can still come back and win the game.

Unfortunately, the second-half comeback couldn’t right all of the wrongs that occurred in the first two quarters of the game. Left guard Evan Mathis was carted off the field with an injury to his left leg. An MRI on Monday to shed light on the extent of his injury, thought to be a sprained MCL. One play after the injury to Mathis, right tackle Allen Barbre, filling in for the suspended Lane Johnson, left the field with an apparent injury to his right leg.

The way this Eagles team was able to settle down and regain focus at the half, then come back to put together a 34-point streak shows what you want to see in a football team. They kept their cool and worked together to dig out of a deficit. Then, once they regained balance, they showed what they can do to get and retain the lead.

What more could you ask for from a Philadelphia season opener? There were boos, then wild cheers, and all while we gave our hearts an amazing workout as it all unfolded.

It’s great to have you back, Eagles football.

Follow Philly Sports Muse on Twitter and Facebook.

Alex Henery, Damaris Johnson among players cut as Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster set

Monday, September 1st, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Alex Henery’s misses cost him his roster spot on the Eagles

Alex Henery’s misses cost him his roster spot on the Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles disclosed their “cut day” moves hours ahead of the NFL’s 4 pm deadline on Saturday, and the names of the players waived by the team held little surprise, though the biggest news was the ousting of struggling kicker Alex Henery.

The following players were waived:

LB Emmanuel Acho
OL Josh Andrews
RB Kenjon Barner (waived/injured)
CB Roc Carmichael
T Kevin Graf
K Alex Henery
WR Damaris Johnson
S Keelan Johnson
RB Henry Josey
LB Josh Kaddu
DT Wade Keliikipi
QB G.J. Kinne
CB Curtis Marsh
WR Ifeanyi Momah
WR Will Murphy
WR Quron Pratt
S Ed Reynolds
DT Damion Square
RB Matthew Tucker

Lane Johnson will begin his 4-game suspension, so he is not included on the team’s 53-man roster until that time is served.

WR Arrelious Benn and  LB Travis Long (ACL tear in left knee) were placed on Injured Reserve.

The headliner of the cuts is the fact that Henery is now replaced by Cody Parkey, brought in from the Colts to give competition to the kicker position. The struggling Henery was decidedly trumped on Thursday’s preseason game against the Jets, when Parkey landed a 51-yard field goal with ease, among other achievements.

Before the cuts took place, rumors surfaced that the Eagles were looking to trade Johnson and were open to trading QB Matt Barkley. In the end, neither transaction transpired, with Barkley remaining on the team and Johnson left on his own to find a new team.

Johnson, who joined the Birds in 2012 and stood out because of his speed and agility, steadily contributed to special teams during his time in Philadelphia. But with a new coach and a new system, there was no longer a spot for the receiver.

Reynolds was a fifth-round 2014 draft pick by the Birds, but saw little time to play prior to the preseason finale, which made assessing his body of work very difficult. As he attended Stanford, he also missed a month of preseason workouts, an absence from which he never recovered.

Players like Curtis Marsh and Emmanuel Acho have been in this very position before, both having been on the Eagles’s roster at one time and then cut. This very well may mark the end of their return fortunes in Philadelphia. Momah was on the squad for the Eagles last preseason and must be feeling a particularly unpleasant case of deja vu, as he didn’t make the final cut then or now.

Follow Philly Sports Muse on Twitter and Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson suspended for first four games of season

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog




(Image via

(Image via

The suspension of Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson for violating the NFL’s drug policy was announced by the league on Wednesday.

The NFL announced that Johnson would be suspended for the first four games of the 2014 regular season. He will return to the Eagles’ roster on Monday, September 29 following the team’s game a day earlier against the San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles said via a statement issued on Wednesday,

“We’re very disappointed to learn of his suspension. We have spoken to Lane about the details of the suspension. He understood what he did wrong and took full responsibility. The key for him, however, is to learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation for the 2014 season.”

The move was widely speculated by reporters almost a month ago but received no official comment from the league or the team until now.

The issue occurred when Johnson took an undisclosed prescription medication without clearing the drug with Eagles trainers. The second-year offensive lineman expressed remorse and regret about his actions, which will have a heavy impact on the team:

“In April while training, I mistakenly and foolishly put a prescribed medication in my body to help with a medical issue. I mistakenly failed to clear it with Eagles trainers and check the NFL list of banned substances. I am extremely sorry for this mistake and I will learn from it and be smarter in the future.

I would like to sincerely apologize to Mr. Lurie, Howie Roseman, Coach Kelly and his staff, my teammates and our amazing Philadelphia Eagles fans. This will be very hard on me to not be battling with my teammates for four games – but I will be ready and better than ever when I return.”

The suspension of the Eagles’ 2013 first-round draft pick is a deep disappointment to the team, heading into its second season under head coach Chip Kelly and looking to build on last year’s success. Johnson’s progression from a rookie to a more seasoned player is one of the more anticipated storylines of the 2014 season. The suspension, which will mean that Johnson will miss games against  the Jaguars, Colts,  49ers, and first divisional matchup against the Redskins, will mean make the scrutiny and expectations for his growth that much more intense.

Follow Philly Sports Muse on Twitter and Facebook.

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

It’s official: QB Matt Barkley signs 4-year deal with the Eagles

Friday, June 14th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell





Signed, sealed, delivered: Matt Barkley signs his contract with the Eagles.
(Photo via Barkley’s Instagram account)


The Philadelphia Eagles have come to terms on a four-year agreement with QB Matt Barkley, the team announced on Thursday. Details of  Barkley’s contract are not yet known.

Barkley was the Eagles’ fourth-round  selection in the 2013 NFL Draft (98th overall pick). The 22-year old player was the all-time leading passer in both Pac-12 Conference and USC history. A four-year starter for the Trojans, Barkley finished his career with over 12,000 passing yards and became the only player in conference history to throw for over 100 touchdowns (116) in a career.

Barkley fell to the 4th-round in this year’s draft when, had he decided to go pro last year, he would likely have been a 1st-round pick. Chip Kelly and the Eagles believed in the USC player’s talent and believed that they obtained the quarterback for tremendous value when he fell to the fourth round. Since the selection, the topic of what Barkley’s presence means in the continued battle of supremacy between  Mike Vick and Nick Foles have been constant topics of Birds-related conversation.

Barkley’s signing means that 7 of the 8 of the team’s 2013 draft picks have contracts in place. 1st-round pick Lane Johnson is the last draft pick that remains to be signed.

Follow Philly Sports Muse on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Get ready for a look inside Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles practice

Monday, May 13th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell





(Image via

Today is big day for the Philadelphia Eagles.  It will be the first time that Chip Kelly will lead a full-team practice via OTAs, and it’s the first opportunity media will have to observe first-hand what they’ve heard about.

The super-fast pace of practices.  The communications that will change the league, at least according to Brent Celek.

This comes right on the heels of this weekend’s three-day rookie minicamp.  Philadelphia’s youngest members will be tired after their crash course but will also be enlivened at the opportunity to now practice alongside their more seasoned teammates.

Two of the Birds’ drafted rookies will be absent, however — TE Zach Ertz and DB Jordan Poyer.  No, they don’t need a rest after the intense weekend.  They will be out of action until they graduate from college, adhering to an NFL rule that permits participation in only one minicamp until the completion of finals.  Ertz will graduate from Stanford on June 16, and Poyner from Oregon State on June 10.  Each will miss a total of seven practices between then and now.

Aside from Ertz and Poyer, the rest of the Eagles had better be well-rested  to compete in Kelly’s “track meet.”  In addition to the excitement of seeing the new normal for Eagles practice, much attention will be payed to how players are used in these practices, first and foremost in the quarterback competition.  How will reps be split between the five QBs currently on the Eagles roster, and how will former USC quarterback Matt Barkley perform in initial competition against Nick Foles and Mike Vick?  1st-round selection Lane Johnson lined up at right tackle over the weekend — will that remain the case, and what will that mean for the rest of the offensive line?  And who will line up in the first team defensive backfield for the Eagles, an area that remains a concern?

While the final answers to these questions won’t be revealed for some time, we’re getting closer.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles rookie camp preview: Who’s signed, who’s attending?

Friday, May 10th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell





On the eve of the first rookie camp under Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles were busy getting down to other business with their rookies — getting five of the team’s draft picks signed.

Included in that group are second-round pick TE Zach Ertz, fifth-round safety Earl Wolff, and seventh-rounders DE Joe Kruger, CB Jordan Poyner and DE David King.  This means that three of the team’s draftees remain unsigned — first-rounder Lane Johnson, third-rounder Bennie Logan and fourth-round pick Matt Barkley.

Also on Thursday, the Birds worked out LB Gerald McRath.  McRath was a fourth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2009 and spent three seasons with the team.  However, he was suspended for four games in 2010 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and spent the 2012 season on IR with a knee injury.

Rookie camp begins today at the NovaCare, and here is your peek at those who have been invited to attend.  Among the list, the name of former Eagles LB Chris Gocong will jump out at you.  He is currently recovering from an Achilles injury.  After his time with the Birds, he was on the Browns and will once again work out with new Philadelphia defensive coordinator Billy Davis, who was previously linebackers coach in Cleveland.

Here’s the full list:

Image via

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Evan Mathis undergoes ankle procedure; Will his recovery period buy Danny Watkins more time on the Eagles?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell





It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line was decimated by injuries in the 2012 season.  Could those woes be spreading into the 2013 season already?

Not so fast.  Guard Evan Mathis confirmed that he has undergone an ankle “cleanout” (I believe that is the technical term) that will keep him out of spring workouts.  However, he expects to be ready to go in time for training camp this summer.

Mathis underwent a minor procedure that was described by CSNPhilly as

“a ‘clean out’ and said it wasn’t to repair any specific injury but just to address swelling and discomfort Mathis had been experiencing.”

Soon after Lane Johnson was drafted as the fourth overall pick by the Birds in last month’s draft, speculation began about the future of Danny Watkins, himself a first round pick in 2011 that has performed nowhere near expectations.  In short, it was believed that, if Watkins has any future in professional football, it will be north of the border in the CFL.

That move may come eventually but it will likely be delayed by Mathis’ recovery, as Watkins is now anticipated to take first team reps in Mathis’ place.

It’s not certain at this stage where Johnson will lineup.  If he plays at right tackle, then Todd Herremans will presumably return to his former position of left guard with Mathis switching to the right side.  Where would that leave Watkins?  That’s a very good question.

If anything, this serves as a reminder of how nothing is a done deal this early in the offseason.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Tweet of the Week: Welcome to Philly, Lane Johnson

Friday, April 26th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell





In the whirlwind that was Thursday night for new Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson, words of welcome and congratulations flooded in from everyone, including his new teammates.

As we all know by now,  OG Evan Mathis has quite a way with words on Twitter, and he had a short but simple way of welcoming and introducing himself to his fellow offensive lineman:

“Welcome to Philly @lanejohnson69. No, you can’t have my number. Order my steaks rare. Now let’s get to work.”

— Evan Mathis (@EvanMathis69) April 26, 2013

So, Lane, you may not be able to keep your number now that you’re in the pros but I’m sure you’ll get over that.  I’m sure some numbers that Mathis will gladly provide you with, however, are ones to Philadelphia’s finest steakhouses so that you can fulfill that order.

Now, if only Mathis’ tweet could serve as an appropriate template for a welcome email to new colleagues in less exciting environments like offices or retail… Ah well.

Happy Friday and Happy NFL Draft, Eagles fans!

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

With the 4th pick in the 2013 draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select, OT Lane Johnson

Friday, April 26th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell





Lane Johnson has his moment on the NFL Draft stage with Commissioner Roger Goodell after being the 4th overall pick.
(Image via the Philadelphia Eagles Instagram)

Eagles fans, the wait is over.  There was no trading down — instead, when Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson was still available at number 4, the Philadelphia Eagles took him.

The 6’6, 303 lb tackle will be an integral part of the Eagles’ offense, helping to protect Mike Vick, who at this early stage will presumably be Philadelphia’s starting quarterback for the 2013 season.  Johnson is an extremely athletic player – he has played both sides of the o-line as well as played quarterback and tight end in his career.  Here is an excerpt from Johnson’s scouting report, via The National Football Post:

“With rare foot quickness he is able to slide out to the corner easily to stop speed rusher’s initial burst.  His ability to block with base helps him to slide easily side to side to adjust to quick pass rush moves at the contact point.  Although he does not punch aggressively in pass pro, he flashes the ability to get his hands on pass rusher quickly, can “get a good fit” and is able to lock-out and tie up pass rusher.”

Head coach Chip Kelly said that Johnson is one of the players the team had targeted and was extremely excited to add him to the Eagles.

“I know [Oklahoma head coach] Bob Stoops extremely well and I talked to Bob about [Lane Johnson] extensively last week.  He just remarked what a tough player he is and what a selfless player that he is; he’s moved positions.  He wants to play.  I think he is going to be a great addition to our team.  The game is won up front.  He’s another tough, physical guy and that’s what we were looking for.”

For his part, Johnson is thrilled to be heading to Philadelphia for many reasons, including the fact that his experience with Oklahoma’s up-tempo offense should fit in well with Kelly’s plans.

“I know that at Oregon, they ran a very fast-paced offense that was very similar to Oklahoma and I think I fit with what they need…I’m excited.  I think Coach Kelly brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the Eagles.  I know we’re all anticipating what’s going to happen and so am I.  I’m ready to get started and I’m very fortunate to be with the Eagles.”

Johnson also thinks that his style of play will be a good fit for Philly’s notoriously intense sports fans.

“I view myself as kind of an aggressive player on the field, but off the field I’m a down-to-earth guy.  I’m not arrogant at all.  I know Philly is a good blue-collar town that works its tail off and they’re very passionate about their sports, especially football.”

It’s a solid pick for the Birds.  After tackles Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel went 1-2 to the Chiefs and Jaguars, respectively, and Oregon DE Dion Jordan, who was rumored to be of interest to Philadelphia, went third to the Dolphins, Philadelphia decided to stay put and get one of the top talents on the board, which was their strategy all along.

With the tattered o-line one of the biggest detriments to the Eagles’ efforts in 2012 and the unknown of if Jason Peters will truly be back to his former self going into 2013, picking one of the most talented players in a draft stacked with offensive line talent was a no-brainer for Philadelphia.  And, as offensive lineman typically experience less of a gap in performance from the college to the professional level than other positions, Johnson will hopefully make his presence well known on the Birds’ line for years to come.

Welcome to Philadelphia, Lane.

Here is some film of Johnson, the first draft selection of the Chip Kelly era for the Eagles.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports