Eagles’ Lane Johnson shades ‘fear-based’ Patriots

Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson (65) during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

One week to the day since his Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Lane Johnson and his teammates are still riding a high. The team just took part in their Super Bowl parade on Thursday, celebrating the organization’s first ever Super Bowl title with nearly a million fans.

But Johnson himself took time out of his busy schedule to throw some rather interesting shade in the direction of a Patriots squad he helped Philadelphia defeat last weekend.

“I just think that The Patriot Way is a fear-based organization,” Johnson said. “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’s honest truth,” Johnson told Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take recently.

Part of the Patriots’ success has been a cutthroat philosophy from within the team’s front office and coaching staff. No one feels safe on the roster. And even high-end players can find themselves in head coach Bill Belichick’s dog house. Just ask former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Butler, who was benched for last Sunday’s big game against Philadelphia.

Johnson notes that players don’t necessarily have a lot of fun when playing for the Patriots. Maybe it’s that “fear based” organization he speaks of. He also seems to look at Patriots players as “robots.”

“They’re (the Patriots) 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,” the offensive tackle continued. “Not to be reckless, but ‘d much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and win five Super Bowls. But hey, it is what it is.”

That’s more than an interesting take. As part of the NFL brotherhood, it’s unlikely Johnson is alone in his thinking here. We’ll likely hear more from soon-to-be former members of the Patriots, Butler himself included. It should make for an interesting offseason of stories surrounding the two-time defending AFC champs.