RIGHT Tackle Lane Johnson is coming back today. Everywhere I look people are reaching for bananas and dildos in celebration of the return of the EAGLES 2013 run game.
Hold up! Steady on! Pump the brakes. Chillax big homie. Lane Johnson plays on the right. The EAGLES do most of their damage rushing, on the left.
Dig if you will, the picture:
Notice that “PWR” category. It’s the percentage of times a team picks up either the first down or a touchdown on 3rd or 4th down. Think of it as a clutch meter. Notice how it decreases going from left to right? Again Johnson plays on the right. That lower percentage was without Johnson missing time. Though he was a rookie, so you cut him some slack on that.
Instead of expecting 2013’s LeSean McCoy to emerge because Johnson is back, the biggest improvement might be that instead of having to play multiple second stringers by default, back-ups have to beat each other out for that LG spot. Competition returns.
Where we have really been atrocious has been running the ball inside. Aside from sealing off DE’s and LB’s crashing down the line, I’m doubting that Johnson’s return will aid us on much besides runs off the RG and further right.
Perhaps the EAGLES will need to give less TE help in pass pro and Foles can get the ball out of his hands sooner on a few short routes to say…Brent Celek with just a Safety in front of him. (You can already see the tire tracks on the Safety’s chest can’t you?)
Make no mistake, I think Lane Johnson’s return will help, but this is by no means a rescue mission. One man will not return this team to the circus act you’ve all come to expect (I told you it was going to be very different), from last season.
I think it’s very important (especially while he gets back up to game speed), to temper expectations for Johnson, and/or what his return is supposed to mean for the O-line.