A new NFL rivalry is growing up right before our eyes. It was born when the Eagles stunned the Patriots in the Super Bowl. And it matured on Tuesday when Eagles All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson blasted the Patriots for their "arrogance," and claimed that Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick talked trash to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and coach Doug Pederson before the Super Bowl.
Appearing on "The Steve Austin Show," Johnson explained why he seemingly hates the Patriots. In the process, he revealed a few behind-the-scenes details that went unnoticed to this point.
"Here's what p---ed me off," Johnson said. "The Patriots, obviously, I respect their coach, I respect Bill, I respect Tom Brady. But just because the way they won the Super Bowls -- the Patriot Way -- is that how everybody else is supposed to do the same thing? No, it's not. And that's what I got mad at, the arrogance by them. There was obviously some stuff behind closed doors. Their owner talking s--- to our owner. Bill talking s--- to our head coach (Doug Pederson) before the game. I'm not going to say it, but a lot of s--- kinda built up to that. And I just got tired of hearing about it, man, to be honest."
This isn't the first time Johnson has ripped the Patriots. Before the Super Bowl,In February, ," adding that "they act like (expletive) robots."
"Not to be reckless, but I'd much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and win five Super Bowls," Johnson told the "Pardon My Take" podcast. "But hey, it is what it is."
If Belichick really did talk trash to Pederson, well, Pederson certainly got his revenge during the game. It wasn't just about Pederson's offense hanging 41 points on Belichick's defense with a backup quarterback, Nick Foles. It was more about the way in which the Eagles did it. If Super Bowl MVP awards could be given to coaches, it would've belonged to Pederson. Most notably, Pederson's decision to go for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal late in the first half by
Meanwhile, as Pederson received universal acclaim for his play-calling and aggressive mindset, Belichick was forced to dodge questions behind-- a decision he still hasn't explained, by the way. To put it simply, , and it wasn't particularly close.
Obviously, one game doesn't make Pederson a better coach than Belichick. Regardless of what happened in Super Bowl LII, Belichick remains the game's greatest coach, arguably ever. But for one night -- a pretty important one too -- Pederson beat Belichick. And for the city of Philadelphia, that alone will always be enough.
Here's to hoping that Eagles-Patriots emerges as one of the sport's best rivalries in the years to come. Unfortunately, the two sides aren't scheduled to meet during the 2018 regular season, though they will go head-to-head in the preseason and will potentially have a joint practice. So, for the rivalry to continue, both teams will need to journey back to the Super Bowl, which
Until then, we'll just have to settle for more soundbites via Johnson and the Eagles. Just don't expect Belichick and the rest of the "[expletive] robots" to respond.