A New Role For Lane Johnson

The Eagles unveiled a new role for Lane Johnson on Friday.

I missed it, but luckily, Jimmy Kempski of BloggingTheBeast.com caught it (nothing gets by that guy). On one play, Johnson lined up pretty much in the slot to the right side, and the Eagles ran a screen to the outside receiver.

Remember, Johnson played some tight end at Oklahoma and has great athleticism. He ran a 4.72 at the Combine, so having him block a DB in space on a WR screen could definitely work. At the very least, it would give the defense something extra to think about.

This is not the first time the Eagles have shown a different look up front. Earlier in OTAs, they went with an unbalanced line, essentially with two right tackles and only a guard and a tight end to the left of the center.

It should come as no surprise that Chip Kelly doesn’t believe in just lining five guys up in the same order on every play.

As for Johnson, he’s been running with the first team at right tackle, but part of that is because Jason Peters has been absent. Dennis Kelly has moved from right tackle to left tackle with the first team.

Asked how Johnson has looked so far, center Jason Kelce said, “Pretty much like every other rookie. You see all the potential there. You see all the things that you want to see out of a rookie. But he’s still learning the offense, he’s still learning the techniques, and on top of that, whenever you’re thrust into a new situation, mentally, he’s still trying to get everything down.”


LeSean McCoy came in at No. 45 on the NFL Network’s top-100 list, falling from his spot at No. 18 in 2011.

“This year coming up, I am healthy and have something to prove again,” McCoy said. “I can’t wait. I can’t think of a back in this league that can do as much as I can do. I am focused and ready to roll. I think Coach Kelly is bringing in a new offense that fits me so well, being in open space with so many looks and movements. I think I will have a better year.”

No other Eagles player has been named to top-100 yet.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Justin

    I think the only other Eagles that could be named are Jackson and Evan Mathis

    • usmcnole

      I thought they said during the program that shady was the only eagle to make the top 100. Mathis should be on there but he doesn’t have a big name and our line sucked ass as a unit last year

  • Token

    I wish they would focus on having him play the role of starting RT. He cant even do that right.

    • theycallmerob

      Got any evidence to support that bucko?

      • Token

        Dennis Kelly is ahead of him right?

        I dont know. Im just not fully on board with the premise that they seem to want every player to learn something gimmicky in addition to their regular job. Its hard enough to be good at one thing in the NFL, and we dont have the most talented roster out there to begin with.

        Fundamentals chip. Make them good at their main job before fiddiling around with everyone.

        • Man, with your football mind I’m surprised you’re not coaching in the NFL.

          1 play. In OTAs. In May. Relax. Teams practice this gimmick stuff all the time.

        • theycallmerob

          Dennis Kelly is not ahead of him. It is OTAs. Half the starting Oline in September isn’t “starting” yet. And this play is far from a gimmick, it’s not like Johnson’s running a double wr screen.

          This is merely another example of Kelly’s brilliance: rather than innovate, simply improve on the existing by (1) playing to your player’s strengths, and (2) creating an advantage through math and disguise.

          • When he catches his first red zone TD I’m sure people will be pretty pleased that they practiced this look in May.

          • Token

            Yes how dare anyone question the brilliance of Chip Kelly. The NFL coaching phenom.

            How in the world are so many of you this brainwashed already? Chip has done nothing. He has to prove it before im gonna lick his boots.

            Until then all this is nonsense. I want to see the team becoming fundamentally sound. Getting as many reps as they can at their positions. They need all the work they can get at their regular spots. Not playing tight end. Not having WRs playing defense.

            This delusion that this is a team full of talent is laughable. This is a weak roster that will take a hell of a lot of work and coaching to just get to above .500. They need all the practice time they can get. OTAs or not.

          • BrettConnolly

            Do you know how to solve Pythagoras’ assertion that a^2+b^2=c^2? Many people hear that it is true and just accept it blindly. But the proof is interesting and I think relevant to how we each see the installation packages. Check it out: http://pic.blog.plover.com/math/pi/Pythagorean_proof.png

            The point is that while many accept a truth based on it receiving general consensus, some can actually see the truth before it earns consensus agreement. Some fans just want to be entertained on Sundays. Some fans want to learn the rubric behind their entertainment. Often times the opinions of the former are incongruent with the thought process of the latter. Good day.

          • Mr. Wu

            yeah, what he said

  • joethomas215

    Ryans had a solid year for a sorry defense, he should.of been close to the top 100

    • Warhound

      ….should have been… OR …should’ve been…
      OH – I agree!

    • Justin

      He’s the Evan Mathis of the defense it seems

  • Richard Colton

    I’m not really interested in seeing Lane catching passes as a TE. What I am looking forward to is Sunday, September 29th vs. Broncos – Lane gets out in space and burries a DB on a (perfectly legal) hit. DRC is then carried by training staff to the sideline for emergency oxygen and whopper jrs.

    • James

      Then Azz yells, “MORE VIOLENCE!”

    • PaoliBulldog

      But it’s precisely the threat of him catching a pass that will make such a play hard to defense. Consider: LJ reports as an eligible receiver but lines up at RT, just inside the TE. Then he shifts back into a slot position. Is he going to block? Is he going to run a passing route? Hell, it could be an option where either one could happen based on the defense’s adjustment.

      • Dutch

        Formation sounds pretty nice for a screen.

        • PaoliBulldog

          Also for a second- or third-and-short. Run straight at the LB as if to block, then curl and catch a quick belly pass.

          Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised to see LJ line up in the left slot, take a handoff and throw an option pass.

      • Johnny Domino

        In any event, Chip just ruined a dozen DC’ s Junes by showing it now.

        More smoke around the NovaCare complex.

      • Richard Colton

        Good point. It just seems gimmicky to me. Or maybe that’s because I’m still mad at the last TE we had named LJ

    • dogtrainer7

      You`ve got a new coach and a new system that I have seen decimate other teams.
      Start believing in and supporting your players.
      This is no longer Andy`s team, leave the past in the past and at least wait on the results of this exciting new system.
      These guys all need your support and belief in them.

  • Elias Rappaport

    Mathis should be the top rated guard in top 100.

  • Dutch

    Mathis was on an Offensive Line that gave up 48 sacks last season. There are no individual accolades when you’re part of a tragedy such as the Eagles were at run and pass blocking last year.

  • Don’t be surprised to see Johnson score some red zone TD’s.

  • DunedinEagle

    I’d like to see Lane take out a DB or a Safty on they play either at full speed or a blindside hit. That I’d pay $ to see just not to Jeffrey that is.

    • garyhod


  • Jack Waggoner

    There’s only so much you can ask your O-line to do to get ready when they are not even allowed to block.

  • Mac

    I can’t wait to see where Nnamdi ends up in the top 100. He hasn’t been revealed yet so it must be a pretty high ranking!