Since we are now 69 days out from the start of the glorious Oklahoma Football season, I figured it was only fitting to talk about former Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson rather than all of the other cool things I could associate with the number 69 (like Steve Owens’ Heisman campaign).
David Lane Johnson had an interesting path to Norman. He played quarterback at Groveton High School in Texas before playing both quarterback and tight end at Kilgore Junior College in East Texas. When he got to Oklahoma, he was utilized sparingly at tight end and defensive after redshirting his first season on campus in 2009.
In 2011, Johnson finally found his calling at the right tackle position for an Oklahoma team that flamed out down the stretch after an impressive 6-0 start. Although the Sooners were a disappointment that season, he established himself as a force on the line while starting 12 of 13 games. In 2012, he moved to the left tackle spot and became a top-flight NFL prospect. He was named third-team All-American by CBS Sports.com that season and followed it up with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. Johnson’s strong senior bowl performance, along with his extremely impressive numbers at the 2013 NFL Combine, led to him being selected fourth overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2013 NFL draft. Here is his draft profile from 2013.
Once Johnson arrived in Philadelphia (and changed his number to 65), he was moved back to right tackle. He has been an absolute stud at the position and has been a starter since his rookie year. The only setbacks he has experienced thus far have been caused by suspensions for alleged PED use, most recently during the 2016 season. In 2017-18, he made his first Pro Bowl and won his first Super Bowl when the Eagles slayed the dragon in Super Bowl LII. Along the way, he gained notoriety for wearing a dog mask and offering to provide Philly with free beer.
Following the epic win, Johnson threw some serious shade at the New England Patriots organization. He made headlines for referring to the Patriots as a “fear-based organization” with players who act like “robots”. He went on to say that the “Patriot way” shouldn't be treated like gospel for the rest of the NFL and took issue with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichek talking smack to the Eagles owner and coach prior to the Super Bowl.
Although Johnson received a lot of flack for these comments, I for one think he was spot-on. The Patriots as an organization epitomize arrogance, and it looks like they might be showing some cracks. I appreciate Johnson calling them out on it. I respect the Patriots just like I respect Alabama football, but that doesn't make them infallible. In some ways, Johnson reminds me of a Baker Mayfield-type character at the RT position. Johnson wasn’t as publicly outspoken at Oklahoma as Mayfield was, but he’s definitely bringing that OU confidence to the NFL. Here are some highlights of Johnson at Oklahoma.
70 days! - Oklahoma routes Kansas State in a 70-24 record breaking day
For 70 days to kickoff, we go all the way back to October 15, 1988, when the Sooners torched the Kansas State Wildcats to the tune of a 70-24 shellacking. The OU wishbone offense exploded for an NCAA-record 768 yards rushing in what was truly a performance for the ages. Oklahoma used 12 ball-carriers in the contest and was spearheaded by quarterback Charles Thompson, who took over for Jamelle Holieway after he left the game early with an ankle injury.