Eagles

With Jason Peters re-signed, Lane Johnson again biding time at right tackle

With Jason Peters re-signed, Lane Johnson again biding time at right tackle

Lane Johnson figured he'd play a couple years, Jason Peters would retire, and he'd swing over from right tackle over to left tackle.

Now, Johnson is entering his fifth NFL season and that move seems no closer than when he got here.

"He may be 54 out there playing left tackle," Johnson said of Peters with a laugh. "He’s a different breed, man. He’s so big and strong, his body can do it. … 

"I might be over here my whole career, but I'm just going to make the best of it."

Peters probably won't play quite that long, but Johnson is an interesting position.

He was drafted as the Eagles' eventual left tackle, he believes he's a better left tackle than right tackle, and the contract extension he signed early last year pays him like a left tackle.

But Peters just won't retire.

Peters, 35, on Tuesday agreed to terms of a contract extension that shifts his future base salary into guaranteed money and makes it likely he'll be here for three more years (see story).

Johnson won't be 42 by 2019, but he will be 29 and going into his seventh season.

"I’m fine with it," Johnson said at his locker after minicamp practice on Wednesday. "Great player, been with the franchise a long time. I’ll probably end up right tackle this year, maybe one day he’ll end up going to guard, but he’ll play left tackle this year and I’ll play right. 

"But I’m just glad he’s here. Every day he’s here makes me a better player."

Head coach Doug Pederson suggested that the Eagles could move Peters to guard, presumably left guard, at some point in the future, and Peters said he's fine with that (see story).

Imagine Johnson at left tackle and Peters at left guard?

"Be like running behind a damn buffalo," Johnson said. "He’s just so big, man. So big and strong. Not many guys at 350 can run and move like he does."

But for now, Johnson is preparing for his fifth season at right tackle — he missed four games in 2014 and 10 games last year with NFL suspensions for a banned substance — and Peters is getting ready for his 14th NFL season and ninth with the Eagles.

Peters began his career as an undrafted tight end with the Bills before moving to tackle in his second season.

He's been to nine Pro Bowls and hasn't missed a Pro Bowl in a season he's played since 2006.

"I’ve got one of the best of all-time so I know if I can keep my play similar to his … I know I'm doing good," Johnson said. "From my first year to my second year is when I made the biggest jump as a player and it’s just knowledge. Stuff he’s experienced over the years. 

"He’s played a lot more players than I have. Gives me advice against guys I’m playing against. It’s just advice you don’t get anywhere else."

Johnson said he's happy playing right tackle, but he believes he's better suited to play left tackle.

"I think I’m better at left," Johnson said. "I’m a lot more fluid at left tackle. … I think I'm a better pass blocker on the left. I’ve gotten better on the right, but it’s just not as natural. I don’t know why. … Probably (because) having your strong hand inside so you’re able to be quick on your counter moves. I just feel quicker. I don’t know why.

“A lot of times they say the left tackle has great feet and the right tackle is less athletic. My deal was I got the best ever playing on left. One of the best ever. A Hall of Fame player. So I’ll bide my time till I’m over there. Just got stuck in a good situation for me."

Johnson is one positive test away from a two-year suspension, but he said his lawsuit against the NFL and the NFLPA to retroactively rescind the second suspension and re-guarantee contract money that became non-guaranteed upon his second suspension is still on course.

"It’s still ongoing, that’s all I can say," he said. "May be done sometime this year, but I really don’t know. Just kind of letting the lawyers do their thing and sit back and play football. 

"Sometimes these things take years. Hopefully, it gets solved before then but you really just don’t know. It’s just back and forth. Not much stuff has been resolved. Just going through paperwork."

Because of his suspensions, Johnson has missed 14 games — almost the equivalent of a full season.

He said his focus this year is playing 16 consistent games wherever he's lined up.

"I just want to go out there and show people what kind of tackle I am," he said. "I feel like I’m one of the best in the league and go out there and do a lot less talking and show people what I can do. 

"I want to be the best in the league this year. No ifs, ands or buts. … I’m not trying to get arrogant or anything, but you go watch the film. My deal is just stay on the field."

Raiders beat Chiefs in thriller with touchdown on final play

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Raiders beat Chiefs in thriller with touchdown on final play

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Wins have been so hard to come by for the Oakland Raiders that it took three tries at the final play for them finally to pull this one out and possibly save their season.

Derek Carr threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on the final play after the game was extended by two straight defensive holding calls and the Raiders snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

"We didn't give up," Crabtree said. "We got a team full of fighters. We believe. ... No matter how hard the game was, we believed. We came out with the W and I'm excited. It's a good way to win, a great way to win."

With their season on the line following the recent slump, Carr led an 85-yard touchdown drive in the final 2:25 to give the Raiders (3-4) the thrilling comeback in a game they trailed by nine points heading into the fourth quarter.

Carr finished 29 for 52 for 417 yards and three touchdowns, with Amari Cooper catching 11 passes for 210 yards and two of the scores. The Raiders had struggled to get the ball downfield while being held to 17 or fewer points in four straight games but Carr repeatedly beat the Chiefs with deep passes.

"No. 4 kept making plays," coach Jack Del Rio said. "This is a special, special win."

Alex Smith threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns but it wasn't enough for the Chiefs (5-2). They lost consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 11-18, 2015, and had their 12-game winning streak in the AFC West snapped in a thrilling finish.

"I've never been part of a game that came down so dramatic," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "But, still had a chance to win. Period. Just have to make a play. One play. One play."

The Raiders had an apparent go-ahead touchdown pass to Jared Cook with 18 seconds left overturned when replay ruled he was down at the 1. An offensive pass interference on Crabtree wiped out another touchdown on the next play.

But holding calls on Ron Parker and Eric Murray set the stage for the final play. Carr hit Crabtree in the front corner of the end zone to tie it at 30. Giorgio Tavecchio won it with the extra point , setting off a celebration on a wild night that included Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch getting ejected in the second quarter for shoving an official.

Hot tempers
The game took an odd turn midway through the second quarter after Kansas City's Marcus Peters hit Carr late, angering the Raiders. Offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn confronted Peters and Lynch sprinted off the Oakland sideline to join the fray. Lynch, a close friend of Peters, ended up shoving line judge Julian Mapp and getting ejected . Peters also was called for a personal foul on the play. Lynch congratulated his teammates in the locker room after the game but didn't speak to reporters.

"I was disappointed he ran out because I knew we had a 15-yard penalty and we'd be in good shape," Del Rio said.

Long drive
After Marquette King pinned the Chiefs at their own 1 with a perfect punt early in the second quarter, Kansas City needed little time to turn the momentum. Smith hit Demarcus Robinson on a 33-yard pass on the first play of the drive. After a short run, Tyreek Hill beat David Amerson for a 64-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs their first 99-yard drive since doing it Dec. 3, 2006, against Cleveland.

Deep connection
Carr had not connected on a single deep ball to Amari Cooper all season before the two teamed twice for long TDs in the opening quarter. On the first, Cooper appeared to push Terrance Mitchell but the officials picked up the flag and gave Cooper the 38-yard TD . Later in the quarter Carr and Cooper connected on a 45-yard score, making Cooper the first Raiders receiver with two TD catches in the first quarter since Mervyn Fernandez in 1989.

Kicking woes
The Raiders were hurt last week when a bad snap by Jon Condo led to a missed extra point by Giorgio Tavecchio in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers. That was Tavecchio's first missed kick of any kind this season but he then had a 53-yarder blocked and missed a 45-yarder wide left in the second quarter. Tavecchio also had a false start on an extra point in the third quarter.

Up next
Chiefs: Host Denver on Oct. 30.

Raiders: Visit Buffalo on Oct. 29.

Carson Wentz feels 5-1 Eagles 'just wired different this year'

Carson Wentz feels 5-1 Eagles 'just wired different this year'

There's something special going on around here, and Carson Wentz isn't afraid to say it.

“We’re made different this year," Wentz said after practice Thursday. "We have a different character makeup in that locker room, and nobody’s going to ever settle for anything less than greatness. So we’re going to go out there every day and attack it.”

The Eagles, 5-1, go for their fifth straight win Monday night against the Redskins, who they beat on opening day at FedEx Field.

Wentz, in only his second season, has elbowed his way into the NFL MVP conversation (see story). His emergence as the unquestioned leader of this team has mirrored the team's emergence as one of the NFL's elite teams.

Wentz spoke Thursday about how he sensed something different, something special, as far back as spring workouts.

“You could just see it, even going back to OTAs," he said. "You could see the competitive nature, even in practice. You couldn’t wear pads. You couldn’t even press cover outside. You could just see the competitive nature.

"And then through training camp, it just kept getting elevated even more. You could just see it from the leadership on down. We’re just wired different this year.”

When Wentz tells his teammates to strive for greatness, they listen, because here's a kid who in just 22 career games has established himself as one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks. He has 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions this year and has posted a passer rating of 90 or higher in five of six games.

“It’s something that we always strive for," Wentz said. "And really, in everything we do in life, you strive for greatness.

"When we’re sitting where we’re at right now, we can just never let that slip. We can never let that slip from our preparation in the film room, the meeting room, the weight room, in practice, so that’s just something I feel like we have to always keep focusing on.

"Never settle, never settle, and just keep striving for that greatness.”

Wentz said he didn't feel anything lacking last year, when the Eagles went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for a third straight year.

It's just that head coach Doug Pederson is in Year 2, coordinators Frank Reich and Jim Schwartz are in Year 2 and Wentz is in Year 2.

The whole program is in Year 2 and there's a confidence, an attitude, a swagger that was nowhere to be found last year or really the last few years.

“I think it was just a natural growth," Wentz said. "You go back and look at last season again. We were so close in so many of those ballgames but [it's] just the natural growth that’s taken place both from coach and just really all of us being in this together and having a year under our belt."