ST. PAUL, Minnesota -- Lane Johnson made headlines moments after the Eagles beat the Vikings in the NFC title game because he took it as an opportunity to take a shot at Tom Brady.
Informed that the Eagles were 5.5-point underdogs against the Patriots, Philly's right tackle said, "Pretty boy Tom Brady. Greatest QB of all time. I'd like nothing more than to dethrone that guy."
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On Monday night, at the NFL's "Opening Night" festivities at the Xcel Energy Center, Johnson was given an opportunity to expand on those comments. Why call Brady a "pretty boy?"
"Go and Google it, and you can find out pretty quick," Johnson said. "It's the whole image. The whole brand."
What about the brand?
"The TB12 Method," Johnson replied. "Go look at it, make your own opinion."
He later asked a reporter, "Have you read it? What do you know about it? Do you know what pliability is? . . . I think it's worked for him. I think the TB12 Method has worked for him, but I'm on the LJ65 Method.
"As far as that's concerned, I don't want to make any more headlines. I'm not scared of Brady. It's not like he's going to rush off the edge from me. I don't think he needs any more motivation to play us. He knows he's a great player. Y'all know he's a great player. I'm going against the defense. I'm not competing against Tom Brady."
Johnson, who showed up to his podium on "Opening Night" wearing running back Jay Ajayi's sunglasses, clearly isn't trying to replicate how Brady goes about his business. When Johnson was told that Brady said the Eagles couldn't be underdogs -- "You’re 13-3," Brady said, "you can’t be an underdog when you’re the No. 1 seed in the NFC” -- he scoffed.
"Here’s the deal: I could be politically correct just like he can, and that doesn’t make any ratings for none of y’all," Johnson said. "Y’all don’t have any fun with it, it doesn’t make the producers go, 'Wow, man, we really nailed that one!' But here’s my version, he’s a great player . . . The Patriots have done it the right way, they’ve been in this situation for a long time . . . Incredible resume. I’m just glad to be here with them and able to perform against them."
How did Johnson really feel? He was asked to provide his unvarnished answer, and he obliged.
"He knows [the Eagles are underdogs]," Johnson said. "We’re all human. He’s not a robot. Obviously, he’s a great player. I have tremendous respect for him. I think a lot of people in this whole stadium do . . . They know what he’s done. That’s why he’s going to be named the GOAT.
"Then again, I think there’s a human aspect to football where you can enjoy yourself a little bit and think outside the box a little bit. That’s what I really mean by all this."
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Eagle defensive end Chris Long on what will happen if the Eagles win the Super Bowl: "I also made a really dumb bet with my linebacker coach that I would get a portrait of his face if we won the Super Bowl," he told NFL Network. "Ken Flajole. Look him up on Google. Hopefully I'll have a Ken Flajole tattoo."
Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson on what the last week or so has been like: "Pandemonium. Exciting. People putting Crisco on the light poles so they don't climb them after games. This is stuff that doesn't happen every day. I wanna win this game, and then put some type of documentary together for this parade."
Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox on if he saw the young Eagles fan imploring him to take Tom Brady out of the game: "I finally scrolled through Twitter and saw that. It was good, man. Good little kid. They start them early in Philly."
Young man has a stern message for Tom Brady and Fletcher Cox. 😤😂— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 26, 2018
"Tom Brady, you're the one that is making every team lose. Cox, you need to take him out." pic.twitter.com/rnbKzTJH1R