One of the largest storylines coming up with the Philadelphia Eagles‘ opener against the Washington Redskins is the unveiling of Chip Kelly‘s new offense. This will have the national audience watching and waiting to see what the mad scientist from the west coast can create. The offense will not get anywhere if the line can’t hold up and the key for the offensive line will be the play of Lane Johnson.
If you were the Redskins defense, where would you attack? Jason Peters, one of the best tackles in the league, or Johnson? I’d put my money on Johnson. He’ll have Michael Vick‘s blindside, and you can be sure he will face multiple pressures and looks from the Redskins. Here is where all the athleticism must come to form. Johnson needs to prove his worth. He was the third tackle off the board in the draft and a top-five pick. The Eagles had options at that slot and went with him. They finally rid themselves of Danny Watkins and this is now Johnson’s time to shine.
The offensive line will be back to full strength for the first time since all of last season where they were decimated by injuries. Jeff Stoutland has his guys looking fairly good through the preseason with only some issues in the final game when the backups let Nick Foles get pounded. He must be ready for the Redskins to attack on Monday.
Kelly may need to adjust his schemes to give Johnson help in protection. His largest test will come with adjustments as the game progresses. If Johnson can be solid, it will go a long way toward the rhythm and timing of the offense and adding valuable points on the board. Hopefully he does not give us a reason to hear his name too often as an invisible lineman means no penalties and stupid mistakes. This is Johnson’s moment and he can start his career off with a solid first step on Monday night.