Lane Johnson really impressed in his first preseason action as head coach Chip Kelly said he and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland graded Johnson out as the Philadelphia Eagles‘ best offensive lineman last Friday night.
Johnson looked like anything but a rookie on Friday as he was a menace in the run game consistently getting to the second level on safeties and linebackers and paving the way for running backs Chris Polk and Bryce Brown to do their jobs. Johnson also showed himself well in pass protection and was not noticeable in that area which is a good thing as he did his job and did not allow any sacks or hurries on Michael Vick or Nick Foles.
Johnson is going to be critical to the offense’s success. He is responsible for protecting Vick’s blindside, and as it stands now it looks like Vick will be the starting quarterback Week 1. Johnson has some nasty to him. He wasn’t just blocking people, he was letting people know about it by driving defenders to the ground and showing a nasty streak not seen in these parts since Jon Runyan.
Offensive line was unquestionably a weakness of the Eagles in 2012. I know it is early, but Vick and Foles were for the most part afforded great protection on Friday, and that was without the presence of undoubtedly their best offensive lineman in Jason Peters. If the protection is solid with the skill players the Eagles have, whoever is in at quarterback will have an opportunity to put up major points in this offense in 2013.