Lane Johnson is taking this time during quarantine by working on a potential second career after football.
The Eagles’ right tackle is just 29 and presumably has plenty more productive years left, but he seems to be sharpening his broadcast chops by hosting a podcast called Outside the Lane (OTL), and it’s entertaining. Johnson is loose and relatable to the average fan, and he is still playing the game, so his insights are entertaining and interesting.
If you haven’t listened, yet, you should.
Last Friday night marked his fifth episode and his guest for the entire 35 minutes or so was receiver DeSean Jackson.
Here is the entire episode:
Johnson and Jackson talked on many subjects, but two of the more interesting topics were the possibility of playing without fans this fall and Jackson’s release from the Eagles after the 2013 season.
Johnson suggested that players should be miked-up during games if fans aren’t allowed to attend.
“I think they should,” said Jackson about the idea. “They should give the fans the insights and really see what goes on between the white lines. It gets crazy. I know in the trenches it gets crazy and I know on the outside it gets crazy too, the conversations we have going back and forth.”
Jackson, like most players probably, wants fans in the stands.
“I definitely can’t recall playing in an empty stadium,” said Jackson. “I never really played in an empty stadium, honestly. I always had fans, even from Pop Warner, I used to look in the stands and have fans. It’s going to definitely be a culture shock. I think it’s going to be very weird.”
Jackson added, “I think at end of day, we’re all professionals and we all will adapt to it. It will definitely be weird at first, but hopefully, they can figure out an ultimatum to that, because I think a lot of teams and players feed off the energy.”
Jackson was more than willing to talk – again – about his surprise release from the Eagles after one of the best seasons of his career. He played all 16 games in 2013, and that was the last time he did that.
During those games, in the first year of Chip Kelly’s head coaching tenure in Philly, Jackson had 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. He talked about wanting to renegotiate his contract after the season ended, and he was released just a couple of months later.
“I remember being in the locker room and hearing DeSean Jackson isn’t with us anymore,” said Lane Johnson, who was a rookie in 2013. “I remember going, damn, what the hell’s going on around here?”
Jackson said he took the release personally.
“The past is the past, I live in the future, but I will say when I was released by the Eagles it was definitely a shove in my face, almost,” said Jackson. “I feel like the story was made up and the reason behind it was hard for me to respect.
“I would’ve respected it a lot more if they would’ve just came to me and told me, basically, it’s a money issue or we’re going a different route, you know what I’m saying? But no, you want to say I’m a hoodlum and I’m doing all this crazy, you know what I’m saying? That shit was personal to me.”
Jackson said then-Washington quarterback Robert Griffin, III went Jackson’s house in Calabasas, Calif., to try to talk him into signing with the Redskins. Team owner Daniel Snyder sent his own personal jet to Los Angeles to take Jackson to Washington.
“He was like,'Just get on the plane, we’re going to figure out the contract after that,'” said Jackson. “I just felt like I wanted to go play against ya’ll twice a year. I’m going to stay in the division because I want them to see me twice a year.
I wouldn’t say it was anything for Chip, but I was like, I was going to let them see what they missed out on.”
Jackson haunted the Eagles twice a year for the next three years and made them pay in one game against them in two years while in Tampa.
Now, he’s back in Philly trying to end his career with a Super Bowl ring.