By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — You know that it’s the NFL offseason when one man’s opinion can drive an entire week’s worth of action in the football news cycle.
This year, the offseason showed up in a hurry, as evidenced by the over-the-top reaction to Eagles lineman Lane Johnson’s thoughts about the New England Patriots. Johnson, appearing on the podcast “Pardon My Take” while still living in the glow of his Super Bowl victory, said that the Patriots are “a fear-based organization” and that players in New England don’t always have a ton of fun. It was an opinion that didn’t really affect anybody, but it nevertheless led to days of coverage and reaction, including some harsh words from former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi.
On Friday, the hosts at “Pardon My Take” invited Johnson back into the studio to help clean up the mess a little bit. The show is generally only half-serious, so many of Johnson’s comments ended up being stretched out of context.
“Here’s the thing,” Johnson said on Friday’s episode. “The Patriots, obviously, they’ve won five Super Bowls, so it’s the Patriot Way to win the Super Bowl. Does that mean that everybody has to act the same way, do the same thing? Is that necessarily the guidelines to win the Super Bowl?”
The hosts goaded Johnson into jokingly challenging Bruschi to a wrestling match — “Meet me at SummerSlam. Get in the ring, Tedy. Let’s go.” — but Johnson did react to all of the quotes and comments coming out of the mouths of former Patriots players.
“They kept interviewing ex-Patriots players. What do you think they’re going to say? ‘I hated it there‘? No. ‘I won Super Bowls, we had a great time.’ They’re not going to badmouth their coach. They’re not going to say what they really want to say. Do you think that’s going to happen? Hell no.”
Johnson also sarcastically expressed his own level of fear for perhaps providing the Patriots with some bulletin-board material.
“If that stuff ends up getting on their bulletin board, I just don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said. “We’re going to get a spell put on us, and we’re going to lose.”
The 27-year-old Johnson also didn’t come across as particularly bothered by all of the vitriol sent his way from Patriots fans.
“I just [whizzed] on everybody’s Cheerios,” Johnson said. “And everybody in Boston, hey I’ve got hate mail I still haven’t read. I’m looking forward to reading it.”
Johnson, however, is not a complete monster. When a fan wrote in to say he got fired for skipping work on Super Bowl Sunday in order to watch the Patriots win, Johnson offered an olive branch.
“Can we see his resume?” Johnson asked. “Can we get some redemption about this?”