Lane Johnson’s four-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs was an unexpected blow for the Eagles' offensive line.
Count center Jason Kelce among those surprised and disappointed by it.
“Obviously it’s not something we’re happy about,” Kelce said on the 94-WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “Lane is a guy that really developed well last year, he was looking great in the offseason, so I was really excited to see what he could do. He'll still be out there this season but through the first four games I was excited to see how much better he was this year than last year.
“He made a terrible… he made a mistake. He made a poor decision. This is something that I don't think is that big of a deal in terms of what he was doing. But obviously you're cheating your season four games.”
The 26-year-old center also said that he and his fellow offensive linemates were told about Johnson’s suspension from the right tackle himself before the news was reported.
“I was extremely surprised and I found out a little bit before I think everybody else did,” Kelce said. “He kind of came and told some of the guys along the offensive line what he was facing before the media really even found out.”
Kelce and the Eagles on Friday open their second training camp under head coach Chip Kelly, who needed only one season to make an impression on Kelce.
“[Chip] is one of the smartest guys I have ever been around,” Kelce said. “He communicates with his players so at all times you know what's being asked of you. One of the things that a lot of coaches and a lot of organizations struggle with is that everything is not crystal clear. The direction of what you're trying to do, not just as a player, but as a team in general over the course of the season a lot of the times coaches aren't very clear on what that demand is.
“With Chip, every single day there's a mission set in place, there's a culture set in place he wants us to abide by. You understand what's set in place, the precedent that's set in place, and everybody's being asked the same thing. And that's why you do it because the guys next to you are willing to do the exact same thing for you."