One of the bravest things an athlete can do is get “Mic’d Up” for a big game. When a player allows his every lateral move and waking thought to be recorded, in real time, it really provides a thick layer into that person’s soul.
The best soundbites are usually unscripted. Some players, guys like Baker Mayfield and J.J. Watt and Travis Kelce, are always entertaining, borderline offensive. Other guys (see: Carson Wentz) do something totally unexpected, like offering a kicker his game check.
As the 2019 regular season comes into focus, there are a few dates that need be circled on the calendar and a handful of NFL stars that need to be strapped with microphones. For starters, the Eagles’ first NFC East showdown with the hated Cowboys on October 20 in Dallas. There should be cameras all over two players: Lane Johnson and DeMarcus Lawrence.
Johnson and Lawernce are already engaged in an offseason war of words after the Cowboys defensive end called out Wentz. Lawrence famously tweeted out, “The richer they get, the better it feels when we humble they a**.” His post was met quickly with itchy fingers and a proverbial Twitter slap across the face from the outspoken Eagles right tackle.
Lawrence vs. Johnson is one “Mic’d Up” segment that has to happen. With that budding feud out of the way, let’s take a look at a few more would-be “beefs” for the year ahead.
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Tom Brady and Brandon Graham. On November 17, the Eagles welcome the New England Patriots to Lincoln Financial Field. These teams have no love lost from that epic Super Bowl battle that ended with Brandon Graham strip-sacking Tom Brady. Graham has been relentless on social media, throwing shade and re-tweeting highlights of the play. These two new-ish rivals need the microscope fully on them in the rematch.
Adam Thielen and Jalen Mills. On October 13, the Eagles and Vikings will meet for the third time in three years. The series is tied at 1-1, with the Eagles knocking Minnesota out of the playoffs on their way to the Super Bowl. Last year, Mills was seen mouthing off to Thielen with the Eagles losing 20-3. His own teammate, Fletcher Cox, intervened and told Mills to knock it off. It’s only fitting the duo gets the chance for a redo, on national television.
Adrian Peterson and Zach Brown. In the season opener on September 8, Zach Brown will face his former team for the first time since firing shots their way at OTAs. Brown, who spent two seasons in Washington, painted a picture of a “worried” Redskins locker room composed of “cliques” and obsessed with beating the Eagles. It really doesn’t matter who is wired for sound on the other side, as long as Brown is. However, Adrian Peterson has been known to speak his mind and set lofty goals for himself. Two thousand yards, really?
Aaron Rodgers and Malcolm Jenkins. On September 26, the Eagles head to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers when two of the absolute best players at their positions — and two of the biggest personalities in football — square off in what promises to be a mesmerizing chess match. Let’s set the scene: imagine Aaron Rodgers’ piercing eyes surveying the field and finding a stoic Malcolm Jenkins screaming back, “This is where I live at.” Rodgers retorts with a “discount double check.” Now that’s must-see TV that needs to be recorded for eternity.