Will Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson Be a PED Bust?
Bob Whalon | 07/24/14 | 11:14 PM EDT 0 Comments
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If You think I'm overreacting to the news that Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson was suspended for the first four games of the 2014 NFL season for PEDs, I have two words for you; Ron Solt.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
 
Back in 1988 the Eagles traded for Indianapolis Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ron Solt.  Solt was a former first round pick (It was the pick the Colts received from the Denver Broncos when Elway refused to sign with the Colts, remember?) and Pro Bowler with the Colts.  He was also coming off a season filled with knee injuries, when news broke in August 1989 that Solt had tested positive for anabolic steroids.  Solt said he just made a mistake in trying to recover from his injuries, but the fact is that he was never the same player after he got caught.  Not even close.  It seems obvious that he was taking the steroids all along and was nothing once he got caught and stopped taking those performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
 
That brings us to the sad, sad story of Lane Johnson.
 
Johnson was just officially suspended by the NFL for using PEDs and I suspect that his career will follow the same trajectory as Solt's.  That is, his play will go straight into the toilet without the help of those PEDs.
 
Think about it.  Johnson started off his college career as a quarterback, before moving to tight end, then to the defensive line and finally into offensive tackle.  He did that because he kept getting bigger.  Hmmmmm.  What makes guys get bigger?  Oh, that's right.  Performance enhancing drugs help athletes get bigger.  Just ask Barry Bond's enormous head.
 
Johnson released a statement saying he made a mistake.
 
"In April while training, I mistakenly and foolishly put a prescribed medication in my body to help with a medical issue.  I mistakenly failed to clear it with the Eagles trainers and check the NFL list of banned substances."
 
Suuuuuuuuure.
 
Obviously Johnson is lying, since he and his agent have refused to identify the drug he tested positive for or the medical issue he was treating.  Plus, Johnson even admitted he wanted to add weight to his frame this past offseason.
 
"I wanted to come back more developed," he told reporters back in the Spring when he reported to organized team activities looking noticeably bigger.
 
Look, I don't expect athletes to admit they got caught cheating, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid enough to believe their B.S. excuses either.  Lane Johnson got caught using PEDs.  The only thing that should concern Eagles fans now is whether or not he has been using them since college.
 
If Johnson's "growth spurt" in college that transformed him from a QB into an offensive lineman was PED-induced, then there are some serious red flags waving right about now.  If he stops taking the PEDs and starts getting smaller, there is no way he will be able to compete in the NFL at right tackle.  That would make last year's No 4 overall draft pick a complete bust.
 
Now I'm not saying that Johnson will definitely be a bust, but I'm saying it's possible.
 
If the history of Philadelphia sports teams has taught us anything it is that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.  That's not negativity, it's reality.
 
Lane Johnson is either a cheater or an idiot who is one of the few NFL players who was dumb enough to get caught taking PEDs.  Let's not be naive enough to think that a large percentage of professional athletes aren't taking PEDs of some sort.  Most of them are just smart enough to take something the league doesn't have a test to catch.
 
Maybe Johnson's agent will find some other PED for his client to use that the NFL doesn't know about.  Maybe Johnson will still be good without the PEDs.  Maybe he really did just take something by mistake.  Or not.
 
I'm just worried that Lane Johnson won't be the same player who had all that promise coming out of college and improved dramatically throughout the course of his rookie season in the NFL.  That could have catastrophic effects on the Eagles offensive line and the entire team.   
 
I could be overreacting, or I could just be old enough to remember the lesson Ron Solt taught us.  Only time will tell.  Say Week 5 of the NFL season?
In this Article: NFL | PHILADELPHIA EAGLES | LANE JOHNSON | RON SOLT

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