The Eagles’ offensive line room is an interesting place.
They sit around and insult each other mercilessly.
“We just give each other hell,” Lane Johnson said Thursday. “We’re mean to each other.”
Before you start thinking there’s some sort of dissension or discord going on here, that’s not what this is all about.
They insult each other because they love each other.
Makes perfect sense.
“O-line room is pretty vicious, man,” said Johnson, beginning his ninth year with the Eagles. “We’re pretty mean to each other, but we keep it light-hearted, keep them laughing, and when it’s time to go to work and handle business, handle business.”
This is a veteran group, led by Johnson, Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks, who were all Super Bowl starters and have 26 NFL seasons and 10 Pro Bowls among them.
Johnson said just like he learned how to be a pro from guys like Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis, the veteran o-linemen believe a big part of their purpose here is to teach the younger linemen as much as possible.
And that means keeping them humble, teaching them the importance of focusing on team goals and making sure they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Which is why the insults fly.
“We say stuff jokingly,” Johnson said. “Anything we can do to get under each others’ skin. I guess to get away from ego, is what I’m trying to say.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, we’re at each others’ necks most of the time. At the end of the day, we’re family, we know that. It’s all love. We just like to joke around and keep it light-hearted sometimes.”
Part of this is simply an initiation for the young guys. Just making sure they’re tough enough to handle this team, this city. It’s good bonding stuff.
And it’s also a way to kind of level the playing field among veteran Pro Bowlers, undrafted rookies trying to make the team and everybody in between.
In the o-line room, nobody is allowed to act like a star. And like Johnson said, there are no egos.
Just a bunch of guys working together for the common good of the team. And ripping on each other every chance they get.
Has there been anybody who hasn’t taken the ribbing very well?
“Hey, sometimes I didn’t take it so well,” Johnson said with a laugh. “Hey, get over yourself.”
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