Lane Johnson defends Wentz, fires back at McNabb

April 22, 2019 - 9:42 am
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By Eliot Shorr-Parks

PHILADELPHIA (WIP Sportsradio) — For the second time this offseason, Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson is coming to his quarterback's defense. 

Two days after former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said the time was ticking on Carson Wentz to prove he can be a winner in Philadelphia, Johnson joined Paul Jolovitz on Sportsradio 94WIP late Sunday night to explain a tweet directed at McNabb and to defend his current starting quarterback. 

"This is what I meant," Johnson said. "Every training camp we have, all of these ex-players come and shake our hands, wish us good luck. Then, they just go out and just talk hate. I feel there is a lot of envy, jealously, and I see a lot of fakery. It isn’t just me — a lot of other teammates see it, too."

"You would think the best quarterback in franchise history would try to build up a young man that looks up to him instead of always criticizing him, critiquing him and wishing he would fail so he could be the missing link and feel better himself. That is what I don’t like," Johnson continued. "I’m not a guy that thinks I have it all figured out. I have many problems as well, but I get tired of all the fakery."

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Johnson continued to explain his issues with McNabb's comments. 

“I don’t think (McNabb) wants (Wentz) to out-succeed him," Johnson said. "I felt like a lot of players, even when we were making our Super Bowl (run) didn’t want us to win. That is just how it is. That’s how the world works. People can put on a good show, a good face, but the eyes never lie. ... These guys say what they want, but then when an athlete voices his opinion, we’re the bad ones. We’re humans, too. It’s not like we are just entertainment on Sundays and robots for everyone's entertainment. It is what we do, it's what we love, but some guys are scared to speak their mind because they are scared of the criticism, scared of the backlash, afraid of getting thrown in the media in a bad light."

Although he was clearly aware of just how much McNabb has accomplished in an Eagles uniform, Johnson's main issue was McNabb not showing more support for Wentz, who has had a rough offseason.  

"When I go to the Pro Bowl, I see a lot of Hall of Famers walking by — everyone wants to stay relevant. Everybody has an ego. I’m not different. At the same time what really maters — glory fades. I’ve seen that. Donovan was the best quarterback the Eagles ever had," Johnson said. "You would think instead of talking down and wishing the worst for someone who was in his position, you would think you’d be on the other side of the fence. But I think it goes to show you just what kind of intentions he has."

Johnson's night started with a tweet directly at McNabb:

The tweet from Johnson comes after McNabb criticized Wentz on the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio.

"In the next two years or so, (Wentz) has to find a way to get out of the second round of the playoffs," said McNabb. "What Nick Foles was able to do taking them to the Super Bowl ... proved that some people can get into that offense and be very successful. (Wentz) hasn’t been healthy, he hasn’t really proven to me besides the year before he got hurt and the first year of really (being) an MVP candidate. He needs to get back to that mode."

"I think, personally, if he can’t get out of the second round in the next two, maybe three years —really two years, to be honest with you —if they can’t get out of the second round, they should look to possibly draft another quarterback because you just don’t know about his durability."

That is quite the statement from McNabb, who is arguably the best quarterback in the franchise’s history, and had plenty of playoff success himself. McNabb made it to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl in his career, but was unable to win one. 

Although Wentz does have a Super Bowl ring, it is fair to say he still has plenty to prove, considering he has yet to take a snap in a playoff game.  

With a possible contract extension coming up, the Eagles likely don’t agree with McNabb’s assessment. If the Eagles don’t get to an NFC Championship game in any of the next two seasons, however, it wouldn’t be surprising if the majority of the fan base agreed with McNabb. 

Wentz has been the topic of much debate this offseason, especially around his health and his standing in the locker room among his teammates. Johnson came to Wentz's defense the first time around earlier this offseason, and by doing it again, is making it clear he still believes in the team's current franchise quarterback.