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Eagles OT Lane Johnson: 'We have to go prove things and are eager to do so'

After their once-promising season spiraled into a lethargic wild-card exit, the Eagles were left to pick up the pieces this offseason.

Many months into the wait to write a new narrative, longtime Philadelphia offensive tackle Lane Johnson is pleased with what the team has done to improve and excited for what a face-lifted roster can accomplish.

"We have a lot of new faces, a lot of turnover," Johnson said Monday on NFL Network's The Insiders. "But [I] felt comfortable with the way we drafted. Got some great players. And really when you look at our roster, we have a lot of size. Obviously we have to go prove things and are eager to do so. But when you just look at the guys walking around the building, we've got size, we've got speed, and guys willing to work."

The then-defending NFC champions raced out to a 10-1 start last season despite failing to play a complete game. Instead of building off the momentum to come together down the stretch, though, Philly fell apart. The team lost six of its final seven contests, including a 32-9 defeat to the Buccaneers on Super Wild Card Weekend.

It'd be natural to fear some kind of hangover after what the Eagles endured, but there's been enough change across the roster and staff to possibly counteract such ill effects.

Although some of those will surely hurt, especially the retirements of center Jason Kelce and defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, there's plenty to be optimistic about.

Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio are both trusted minds capable of breathing new air into the building. On defense, Philadelphia signed vets like linebacker Devin White and reunited with difference makers such as C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who tied for the league lead with six interceptions as an Eagle back in 2022. The draft also provided two more highly touted cornerbacks, Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, to help rectify a 30th-ranked scoring unit.

On offense, the much ballyhooed signing of Saquon Barkley remains the highlight.

Given his position anchoring the offensive line, Johnson's especially pumped for what might come from a move like that.

"Once you see him, you'll never forget, just physically imposing guy," Johnson said of Barkley. "I think he walks around 230 (pounds). ... He's ultra competitive. When you see what he can do at the running back position and we can flex him out at receiver, he can go. It's unbelievable. I never thought that he would be playing for us, but here it is. I know that he's excited. We're definitely excited up front. I think he's poised for a big, big year."

Barkley will be but one element of making sure last season doesn't seep into this one. Along with the desperate need for an improved D, it'll also take Johnson assuming the leadership mantle left over by Kelce on the O-line and the brain trust of head coach Nick Sirianni, Moore and Jalen Hurts avoiding similar lulls to when Philly scored under 20 points five times from December on.

A month out from training camp, Johnson's looking forward to the challenge of it all.

"Every year's different," he said. "I wish I had the answers to why the second half of the season went the way it did. It was something that went by so fast, and I know after it wasn't a problem. But [I'm] looking forward obviously to this new offense under Kellen Moore. Gonna be some things changed up for us up front. Excited, man, 12th year. Crazy how fast it goes by."

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