Lane Johnson was recently on the Pardon My Take podcast and talked honestly about his perception of the Patriots' organization. His assessment of the Patriots' Way has now caused a stir.
Basically, Johnson said he thought the Patriots were a "fear-based organization." He didn't doubt their greatness, but he said he didn't think players had fun playing there and he'd rather win one Super Bowl and have fun than win five and be miserable.
OK, so Johnson has never played for the Patriots and he can't know what it's like, but that was his perception of it.
That rubbed former Patriots linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi the wrong way. Bruschi made some rounds on Monday. First he appeared on ESPN's First Take to say that he had a lot of fun playing his career in New England. He then seemed peeved that Johnson is still talking about the Patriots instead of enjoying his Super Bowl victory. Oh well, but fair enough.
But then Bruschi doubled down with some pretty nonsensical remarks when he appeared on The Will Cain Show on ESPN Radio.
Here's what Bruschi said:
"Let me tell you what, coming from a guy that's failed going back to back once and then succeeded going back to back once, it takes a lot more, fellas, than planned end zone celebrations, dog masks and trick plays to go back to back. So if you think it's going to be all fun to win another championship next year, you got it all wrong. It takes serious men, it takes serious conversations, it takes serious practices, goal setting, all of that stuff. So he's going to see how hard it is."
That's just nonsense. First, to say that it's going to take a lot more than celebrations, dog masks and trick plays to win another Super Bowl would be saying that's how the Eagles won this Super Bowl in the first place. While all that stuff was fun, it didn't win them any football games and it certainly didn't win Super Bowl LII against an extremely good Patriots team.
From there, Bruschi decides to talk about how hard it is to win back-to-back championships. Of course, he would know. But to pretend that the Eagles don't take their craft seriously because they seem to have fun doing it is pretty silly, not to mention pretty insulting.
To say it's going to take serious practices to repeat as Super Bowl champions, insinuates that the Eagles didn't have serious practices on their path to winning this year's Super Bowl. That's just stupid. Obviously, Bruschi wasn't around during the bye week in the playoffs when the Eagles strapped on the pads and went first-team offense vs. first-team defense - something that's rarely done during the season in today's NFL - for two grueling days.
But the Eagles wore dog masks and did the Electric Slide ... guess they weren't taking it seriously. Come on, man. There's no way he can really believe that. And now it just comes off as a 44-year-old former linebacker trying to defend the brand he was once a part of, a brand that really doesn't need defending, especially not with a Swiss-cheese defense like this one.
Meanwhile, this is now Johnson's pinned tweet on his Twitter profile.
Once a company man always a company man Tedy
— Lane Johnson (@Lanejohnson65) February 12, 2018
And Lane Kiffin chimed in with support of Johnson.
Heard that!!! https://t.co/gOtLMW5f2j
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) February 11, 2018