Lane Johnson: Chip Kelly 'went overboard' with sports science as Eagles' coach

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Shutdown Corner

Philadelphia Eagles tackle Lane Johnson went on “The Steve Austin Show,” the podcast of the WWE great, and had a lot to say.

We’ve written about Johnson’s choice words for the New England Patriots organization, the team his Eagles beat in the Super Bowl a few months ago, but that wasn’t the only thing Johnson spouted off about.

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He also had quite a bit to say about his first NFL head coach, Chip Kelly.

Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson had lots to say during an appearance on “The Steve Austin Show” this week. (AP)
Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson had lots to say during an appearance on “The Steve Austin Show” this week. (AP)

Chip Kelly ‘went overboard’ with sports science

Kelly was hired to coach the Eagles in 2013, after a successful tenure with Oregon. His belief in the benefits of sports science was well-known, but Johnson thinks Kelly focused too much on that aspect and not enough on other areas.

“We major in sports science, which is good thing — we still do it here. But I think we kind of went overboard with that. I think a good way to put it is we majored in the minors instead of focusing on some of the main points that we needed to,” Johnson said.

Kelly introduced things like smoothies tailored to each player’s nutritional needs and changed practices from what players were used to, to try to keep them in peak condition.

Lane Johnson disagreed with personnel moves

But that wasn’t Johnson’s biggest gripe. The 28-year-old also took issue with Kelly’s personnel moves.

“It was definitely exciting whenever he first came in, and we did some good things,” Johnson said. “Then we start getting rid of our best players. You’ve got DeSean Jackson, who can outrun everyone on the field. You’ve got Shady McCoy, who’s going to be one of the best running backs of all time. You just get rid of those guys just like that, and you set a tone. Players didn’t really like that.”

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It wasn’t the first time Johnson has had harsh words for Kelly; after Kelly was fired just before the end of the 2015 season, Johnson called him a “dictator” and said the coach’s ego got in the way.

Doug Pederson ‘never gets rattled’

It would be surprising if Johnson were critical of the Eagles’ current head coach, Doug Pederson, not just because Pederson just led the franchise to its first Super Bowl win, but also because, well, Johnson is still on the roster.

He did allow, however, that there were some bumpy times early on, and Pederson has recovered.

“The first year was kind of rocky, but once he got into a rhythm, I think he’s one of the best play-callers in the game,” Johnson said. “He never gets rattled. And one of my favorite things he says before every game — let your personality show. Because at the end of the day, we’re entertainers. That’s all we are.”

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