Lane Johnson’s Suspension is Official

Posted: July 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 21 Comments »

The speculating can stop. Lane Johnson will sit for the first 4 games of the 2014 season. Les Bowen has some of the details.

Johnson, 24, will participate in training camp and preseason games, but will not practice or play in the regular season until Sept. 29, the day after the Eagles’ game at the 49ers. 

There are 2 interesting questions as a result of this situation. The most obvious is who replaces Johnson in the lineup. Bowen suggests sliding Todd Herremans to RT and then playing Allen Barbre at RG. I prefer leaving Herremans at RG and playing Barbre at RT. That lineup involves less shifting, and continuity is a crucial part of good OL play.

The other question is how Jeff Stoutland and Chip Kelly will do things in camp. Do they let Johnson get a lot of reps, to help him develop and build cohesion for the season? Do they use the other lineup to get ready for the first month of the season? Remember that the Eagles had the same 5 guys start all 16 games last year. Cohesion was a big help to the OL.

Johnson explained his side of things in a statement.

Johnson’s statement said: “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.”

As for the Eagles:

“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 team’s statement said. “The key for him, however, is to learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation for the 2014 season.”

Johnson got off to a shaky start in 2013, but developed into a good RT by the end of the season. It will be interesting to see how the suspension affects his level of play. Does he build off last year or will he be rusty when he hits the field in October?

I think Johnson will be fine as long as he keeps his head on straight. Johnson will have the summer to get reps in and work with his teammates. He’ll then be gone for a month, but will have had the OTAs, Training Camp and preseason games to get ready. Sitting for a month isn’t ideal, but he won’t be completely rusty after just 4 games away.

The reason I mention Johnson needing to keep his head straight is that young guys can be flighty. If he steps on the field, struggles a bit and then loses some confidence, that is when you could see a problem. Linemen must be confident and aggressive to be effective. Johnson can’t do anything about the 4 games. His focus should be getting ready for Game 5. Don’t let the suspension hurt you when you do return to the field.

* * * * *

Bob Ford wrote about sacks, both getting them and preventing them. I enjoyed the wisdom of Professor Azzinaro.

“Pass rushing in the 3-4 is an interesting component,” said defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro. “There are a lot of parts to it. What picture do you present? Who’s the fourth rusher? When is there going to be a fourth rusher? How is the offense working against you?”

It is a game of deception, and sometimes a 3-4 defense has to be judged differently. But when it is third down and a passing situation, all NFL defenses have four pass rushers with their hands in the dirt. Opponents converted 40.3 percent of their third-down opportunities against the Eagles in 2013, which ranked them 24th in the league. It wasn’t all about not being able to pressure the quarterback, but a lot of it was.

So, as training camp opens and the coach says the team needs to improve everything, remember that some parts of the everything are more pressing than others. And put sacks near the top of that list.

“Everybody wants it to be a revolution, but it’s an evolution,” Azzinaro said.

Little by little, practice by practice, day by day.

I bet Coach Azz would be a fun guy to have a few PBRs with.


21 Comments on “Lane Johnson’s Suspension is Official”

  1. 1 IAteLunchToday said at 3:04 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

  2. 2 Media Mike said at 5:20 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    Did Putin get himself a Death Star?

  3. 3 Chiptomylou said at 7:13 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    Evan Mathis farted…… that what happened?

  4. 4 Jack Waggoner said at 3:28 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    1st team reps vs 2nd team reps doesn’t matter much until there’s actual game planning.

  5. 5 sprawl said at 4:41 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    Yeah, more worrying is being off for 4 weeks and then having to come back week 5 to face the Rams DL for his first regular season action. At least he’ll be fresh…

  6. 6 Ark87 said at 5:54 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    I agree with you Tommy about Lane not getting too rusty. He isn’t injured or anything. He can stay pretty sharp. The only thing will be that week 5 will be his week 1. The first game going real football speed in a long time. And the only reason that slight rust is noticeable is because it’s week 1 for all 22 players on the field.. He should acclimate pretty quickly since everyone else on the field in the full swing of the regular season.

  7. 7 CrackSammich said at 10:23 AM on July 24th, 2014: ever going to be fixed? Jiimmy’s camp reports will be sorely missed.

  8. 8 Chiptomylou said at 10:38 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    Go over to Brandon Lee Gowton has great reports from camp. Tommy make great ones as well. Plenty of places to get news.

  9. 9 CrackSammich said at 10:41 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    I generally read all of them, though Jimmy’s are usually my favourite. Just wondering what’s going on with that site. It’s not like major publications to leave their entire website messed up for such an extended period of time.

  10. 10 Jack Waggoner said at 11:18 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    I even wrote an email to them about it and got no reply.

  11. 11 Ark87 said at 1:25 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    Jimmy and Sheil bring the goods. It’s smart to read as many as you can, there’s so much going on at any given moment that it’s impossible to see it all, basically all of them see a slightly different practice.

  12. 12 Bert's Bells said at 11:12 AM on July 24th, 2014:

    Try through here:

    All the Eagles Blogs. Jimmy posts most frequently so his stuff is always towards the top.

  13. 13 ChaosOnion said at 2:20 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    How long is Coach Azz’s contract? I have a feeling he is going to get onto the HC candidate list very quickly.

  14. 14 Bert's Bells said at 2:40 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    Allegedly he’s not even interested in being a DC. Title-wise and authority-wise he’s not gonna do much better than he is with CK.

  15. 15 D3FB said at 3:26 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    Azz is already 56 and only has a half dozen years as a DC (UMASS, Duke). Arians was 60 and considered super old when he got hired. Mike Zimmer is 58. I think he stated somewhere right after he got hired, that he enjoys being a DL coach, and he prefers the one on one coaching and player development more than gameplanning, and the other aspects of being a coordinator, so I doubt he would want to be a HC.

  16. 16 GEAGLE said at 5:23 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    Disagree.., he is one the coaches I worry least about leaving us. I believe Azzinaro and Chip see out to take on this NFL challenge together… If we win a few superbowls then I could see Azzinaro leave, but I can’t see him getting poached away before him add Chip really take a run at NFL glory

  17. 17 jay said at 2:31 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    if he had been videotaped dragging an unconscious woman out of an elevator he’d only have been suspended for half as long.

  18. 18 Jernst said at 4:36 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    Right? Or what if he was indicted on murder chargers and at the very least guilty of helping cover up a murder by lying to police. Would he be celebrated as a HOF LBer and a leader on his team, given nothing but praise by media and the league. The NFL really needs to evaluate it’s PED policy if you can see your doctor get a prescription of a medicine that treats a documented medical condition, legally fill the prescription at CVS, take the prescripted medication as directed and under a physicians direction and still be suspended for a quarter of a season. That is assuming Lanes version of events is accurate. But, still there should be a major difference in penalty for someone that gets illegal horse testosterone off the street and injects it into there ass cheek specifically to roid out and get stronger and someone who gets a prescription filled through a doctors recommendation.

  19. 19 GEAGLE said at 5:19 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    lol I posted the same absurd comment without even seeing yours…it’s absurd that we lose our tackle for 4 games, yet the ravens get their starting RB back after week 2

  20. 20 GEAGLE said at 5:18 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    This is a joke,,, all I know is Ray Rice Knocked his girlfriend the Fuck out on camera, worst than “Craig” did to “Debo” in “Friday”, then carried his girlfriends unconscious body in a casino, and is only suspended for two games…. If Ray Rice only has to sit out two games, then Lane should only have to sit out two quarters…

  21. 21 BobSmith77 said at 10:18 PM on July 24th, 2014:

    Does anyone on here actually believe this BS statement? Bet money he was using a PED & simply got caught red-handed.

    2nd Eagles player now in less than a year too. Still too early yet to make any kind of accusations about Kelly/Huls but if another player or two gets suspended in the next year or so then there is more to the ‘sports science’ program than simply better nutrition & training.