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April 22, 2019

Eagles' Lane Johnson fires back at Donovan McNabb for Wentz comments

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb created a mini-controversy over the holiday weekend by pinning very specific expectations on Carson Wentz.

Right tackle Lane Johnson wasn't pleased with McNabb's assessment, calling it symptomatic of a jealousy he's seen in a lot of former NFL players.

Appearing Saturday morning on CBS Sports Radio's The Zach Gelb Show, McNabb said the Eagles should look to draft another quarterback if Wentz can't lead the team out of the second round of the playoffs in the next two seasons.

While McNabb justified that take on the basis of Wentz's injury history, his analysis pretty blatantly would hold Wentz to the standard McNabb set for the Eagles during his first five years in the NFL. McNabb seemed to suggest that Nick Foles' success in the Eagles' system shows that if Wentz can't get the job done, someone else can.

Lane Johnson responded on Easter Sunday with a harsh reminder of how McNabb is often viewed by Philadelphia in retrospect. 

Johnson later spoke with SportsRadio 94WIP's Paul Jolovitz, explaining that McNabb's comments bothered him because they come across as two-faced. Via 94WIP:

"I don’t think (McNabb) wants (Wentz) to out-succeed him," Johnson said. "I felt like a lot of players, even when we were making our Super Bowl (run) didn’t want us to win. That is just how it is. That’s how the world works. People can put on a good show, a good face, but the eyes never lie. I see it, a lot of other teammates see it."

He later said McNabb should be more supportive of Wentz:

"Donovan was the best quarterback the Eagles ever had," Johnson said. "You would think instead of talking down and wishing the worst for someone who was in his position, you would think you’d be on the other side of the fence. But I think it goes to show you just what kind of intentions he has."

From a practical standpoint, Wentz and the Eagles will be expected to get beyond the divisional round of the NFC playoffs next season simply because that's where they stalled out last year. They are expected to improve. Philadelphia just doesn't need Donovan McNabb to tell us that and spell out the "or else ..." scenario. 

As for Johnson's perception that former players secretly wished the Eagles wouldn't win the Super Bowl — that's unfortunate, if true. 

It's hard to imagine what McNabb would have to do to get back in Philadelphia's good graces, if that's something that even concerns him. His response to this weekend's blowback wasn't a great start. 

One thing you can always expect with early 2000's Eagles drama is a Freddie Mitchell appearance. That's when you know the conversation should end.