Safe to say that Lane Johnson won’t be joining the Patriots any time soon. The Eagles right tackle made some incendiary remarks about the Pats in the wake of the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII win in a recent interview on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast.
The part of Johnson’s comments that look the dumbest on paper have been slightly misrepresented, but we’ll get to that. The gist of his remarks, which he said when asked what he meant by his “pretty boy” comments toward Tom Brady, was that New England doesn’t let its players be themselves and runs the team based on fear of Bill Belichick rather than enjoying their time and having fun.
“I just think that the ‘Patriot Way’ is a fear-based organization,” said Johnson. “Obviously, do they win? Hell yes, they win. They’ve won for a long time. Do I think people enjoy and can say, ‘I had a lot of fun playing there’? No, I don’t. That’s just the God-honest truth.
“Are they successful? But when they go to interviews, they act like [expletive] robots. Hey, stop being a [expletive]-head. We can be cordial for a little bit. You only get to do this job one time, so let’s have fun while we’re doing it. Not to be reckless, but hey, I would much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and, you know …”
Here’s the part that was taken a bit out of context. At that moment, PMT host Dan “Big Cat” Katz interjected with “win five Super Bowls.” And Johnson simply echoed his comment. He and the hosts started joking with each other, which was the part that most outlets just ignored. That includes Johnson sarcastically saying he’d rather not be “maybe be the most popular athlete, possibly of all time,” and Big Cat adding “I’d rather just make the jokes at the press conference, I agree with you, you’re right.”
But of course, a lot of fans will take his comments as not just an unnecessary and misguided attack on the Patriots organization but pure stupidity. Johnson didn’t really say he’d rather not be “miserable” and win five Super Bowls; those were his literal words, but context matters here. But obviously that will be your headline and make him look like more of a loser than he really is.
Johnson and the Eagles offensive line dominated in the Super Bowl, by the way.
Still, it is a little silly for Johnson to say that ex-Patriots players were always miserable here. Foxboro is clearly not a place for the faint of heart to play and Bill Belichick runs a very disciplined operation. But anyone who’s won a Super Bowl here over the past 17 seasons would probably tell you that their “misery” was worth it in the end.
At the end of the day Johnson’s comments weren’t totally represented accurately, but there’s certainly not much of a defense for the “fear-based organization” part.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.