Lane Johnson's OL Masterminds Summit Proceeding in Texas
The third-annual OL Masterminds summit, an idea spearheaded by Eagles star right tackle Lane Johnson and his long-time friend and current offensive-line guru Duke Mayweather, is proceeding as planned this weekend in North Texas despite a spike in the state's COVID-19 cases.
Nearly 50 current NFL offensive linemen are tentatively scheduled to attend despite renewed concerns over positive tests for the virus, which have reached record highs in both Texas as a whole and the Dallas area.
Among the high-profile O-Linemen expected are Johnson, New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead, Houston OT Laremy Tunsil, New York Jets rookie first-round pick Mekhi Bechton, Las Vegas Raiders tackle Trent Brown, and centers Garrett Bradbury of Minnesota, and Ryan Jensen of Tampa Bay.
Interestingly Johnson and Mayweather got the idea for the summit from Von Miller and his attempt to help pass-rushers around the league. The Denver Broncos star tested positive for the virus back in April and has recovered, but hosted his summit virtually last month.
A shift from the Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center to the Omni Frisco Hotel was necessary for two reasons: more space and the performance center being shut down for pandemic concerns.
The goal is for the top-tier players to discuss the tricks of the trade which include technique issues like hand placement and footwork, as well as the mental aspect of the game.
“I feel like there’s not a whole lot of education on how the O-line is played,” Johnson told SI.com last year when discussing the summit. “Really, I just want to get the guys together and kind of get a voice behind the O-line position, because I feel like there’s never been one. It’s just always been, ‘Bring your lunch pail and keep your mouth shut.”
The Dallas Morning News reports that face masks will be supplied at check-in and digital temperature readings will be administered. A liability waiver must also be signed by all the participants.
Stricter social-distancing guidelines will be adhered to as well.
“The main thing we have to do is make sure that we’re taking care of and looking after each other,” Mayweather told the newspaper. “We all have a social responsibility to do what’s right by the guy next to us. And the cool thing about this is that’s really what O-line is all about: tapping that guy next to you on the shoulder and say, ‘I’ve got your back.’"
“It will be interesting to see the response and how it plays out. There will always be critics,” said Mayweather. “At the end of the day, these guys all are making decisions for their own to try to be the best player they can be. For me, I want to make sure we’re putting these guys in a safe environment.”
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
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