By Max Harper
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni yesterday called Johnson “the best tackle that I’ve been around in my 12, 13 years in the NFL.”
That’s what an NFL coach who is feeling his oats after a miserable start to the season would say.
Blow a little smoke up your right tackle’s ass to let him know he is appreciated.
But in Johnson’s case, the praise is much-deserved.
Then he added this, mentioning center Jason Kelce:
“When I look at our offensive line it’s led by 62 (Kelce) and 65 (Johnson). I know Jason sets the table for everything of what we’re going to do, where we’re going with the point, everything like that. And it’s those two guys really, really carry us.
“(Johnson) is somebody that can lock down his side in pass protection. He is powerful and technically sound in the run game of fitting double-team blocks on his way to the linebacker. That was on full display (Sunday), and it’s been on full display for the last four weeks.”
Kelce has been with the Eagles since 2011, when he was their sixth-round pick, and Johnson since 2013, the Eagles’ first-round pick.
Johnson’s value has always been apparent to the Eagles. They are 12-20 when Johnson doesn’t play. That includes going 1-2 in the three games Johnson missed earlier this season with his mental health issue.
They are 62-44-1 when he does play, including 4-4 this season and 3-1 in the last four games.
“We ran against (the Saints), so that was good,” Johnson said. “We knew coming in that they had a good (defensive line), a good linebacking core, and they’ve been stuffing the run all year.
“We’re going to try to keep doing what we’re doing moving forward. I know teams are going to scheme up to try to stop that.”