THE EAGLES INSIDER Q&A
PHOTO © ESPN THE MAGAZINE
Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro sat down with tackle Lane Johnson for a recent episode of the Eagles Insider podcast presented by Lincoln
Financial Group. Johnson discusses the game of football and the game of life both on and off the field. He touches on his rookie season, a
coach’s influence, and the O-line baring it all in ESPN The Magazine’s BODY Issue. Check out the entire interview below.
2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 23
DAVE SPADARO: What do you remember about your first NFL
game on September 9, 2013 at Washington?
LANE JOHNSON: “I remember being very nervous for my first
game. We came out to a really (fast) start. I remember we ran
around 52 plays that first half against Washington, so we got up on
them real early. I was very nervous, but I had a good game.”
DS: What are the emotions that come along with playing your
first professional game?
LJ: “I was kind of walking on eggshells all day just because I was
drafted here and had (All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection)
Jason Peters at left tackle. I felt like I had to be similar to him, which
is very hard to do. Other than that, I was just worried about playing
good assignment football. That was really it.”
DS: After what you know now about playing in this league, what
would you tell your rookie self?
LJ: “I would say slow down. Just try to slow down the brain just
a little bit because you try to do everything so perfectly. You have
so many voices in your ear and you’re trying to impress everybody,
when really you just have to put things in perspective. Your only
competition should be you.”
DS: Do you think every rookie goes through that?
LJ: “Yeah, I think the rookie season is so tough just because
you have such a long college career and then right as soon as that
season is over you go to Combine training. It’s really two seasons in
one. It doesn’t really stop, and a lot of people don’t realize that.”
DS: When did it slow down for you? When were you able to
enjoy being an NFL player?
LJ: “It still hasn’t slowed down. I feel like if I slow down then
I’m not at the top of my game. I feel like someone is getting the
edge, but really, I think my second year I was able to relax a little
more. I was able to play a little smoother, more comfortable, more
confident. That second year was a big step for me.”
DS: What is offensive line coach/run game coordinator Jeff
Stoutland like? Do you see him as a father figure?
LJ: “Most definitely. He’s really theatrical with his teaching. He
tries to instill stuff into your memory. But as far as being a coach,
he’s a coach on the field, but also a life coach. He’s been coaching
for nearly 35 years and has dealt with a number of players. He’s
really into sport psychology and how players think and how they
approach the game. I think him teaching me that and incorporating
that into my game has only helped me improve.”
DS: Do you ever see yourself being a coach?
LJ: “I could see myself doing it because I love the game so much.
I’ve thought about what I would do if I retired. I’d have to be around
football because I love it so much.”
DS: Were you naked all day while shooting the BODY Issue
for ESPN The Magazine ?
LJ: “Not all day. We have a robe. Usually from scene to scene,
we’ll put the robe on. Other than that, we were pretty much naked.”
DS: How did the ESPN BODY Issue come about?
LJ: “They’ve only had one O-Line group pose before, the Colts
last year. I was asked about it and I asked the guys. After a week
or so debating, they were in and let’s rock this thing. That’s what
DS: Did you have fun at the shoot?
LJ: “It was fun. It was entertaining, Jason Kelce just being around
him all day. Big V (Halapoulivaati Vaitai) and (Brandon) Brooks, it
was very entertaining.”