Morning sports update: Lane Johnson hopes Patriots fans ‘raise hell’ during Thursday’s preseason game against the Eagles

"I've been waiting on this since the Super Bowl was over with."

Lane Johnson Philadelphia Eagles
Lane Johnson in Nov. 2017. –AP Photo/Michael Perez

Pinch-hitter Brock Holt hit a tiebreaking solo homer as the Red Sox beat the Phillies 2-1 on Tuesday night. Rick Porcello struck out 10 in seven innings for Boston, who improved to 86-35.

Here are some more sports headlines to get you caught up as you start your day:

Lane Johnson hopes Patriots fans ‘raise hell’ during Thursday’s preseason game against the Eagles

Lane Johnson knows he’s walking into a hostile environment on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium. Patriots fans will probably make the most of their first opportunity to respond to the Eagles right tackle’s incendiary comments about their team, but Johnson isn’t too concerned about the expected earful.

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“Oh yeah. I hope so. I hope they raise hell,” Johnson said at Philadelphia’s training camp, per ESPN. “They can cuss me, they can say whatever they want. At the end of the day, I’m not blocking them, I’m blocking guys on the edge, so it really doesn’t matter what they say. I know that I’m not going to be well-liked, this team is not going to be well-liked going there, so it’s going to basically bring out our best.”

Johnson has been a vocal critic of the Patriot Way since before Super Bowl LII, and his critiques have not slowed in the months since the Eagles’ 41-33 victory. According to the Eagles lineman, New England is a “fear-based organization” where players who “act like f****** robots” can play for “15 miserable years.”

He expounded on those comments on Tuesday, telling reporters that he felt like the Patriots disrespected the Eagles before the matchup in Minnesota. Johnson thinks his words have resonated because they have the ring of truth.

“People can discredit it all they want. I think it’s why I get so much recognition is because a lot of it is true and they don’t want to accept it. At the end of the day, man, I’m over it,” Johnson said.

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Belichick did not bite when asked about Johnson’s statements. He maintained the Patriots are focused on practice and their own improvements. As the teams prepare for the preseason meeting, Johnson noted he’s “excited to go play against a great team.”

“I’m ready. I’ve been waiting on this since the Super Bowl was over with,” he said. “So, it’s time.”

What we learned from talking to Paul Rabil about Bill Belichick: Two-time MLL MVP Paul Rabil first met the Patriots head coach when he was a senior midfielder at Johns Hopkins. The pair spoke about Tom Brady and the Tedy Bruschi, but Belichick was also interested in Rabil.

“To watch him turn that meeting around into a two-way conversation showed that this guy has no ego — even for someone who’s at the top,” Rabil said. “Coach is consistently curious and he modeled that for me right away.” (Boston.com)

Rob Gronkowski finally splurged on a luxury item after 8 years of frugality: The Patriots tight end grew up wearing hand-me-downs from three older brothers, so he’s not one to hand over a game check for a new pair of shoes. (In fact, Gronkowski still hasn’t touched his NFL money, living instead of his endorsements.) However, he recently decided that if he met his contract incentives, he would treat himself, and he did. (Boston.com)

Some backstory on Bill Belichick’s Croatian lacrosse hoodie: Speaking of Belichick and lacrosse, the Patriots coach — who’s family is from the Mediterranean nation wore a Croatian lacrosse T-shirt during a recent interview. He’s been involved in fundraising for the Croatian Lacrosse Association and supported the national team as it made its debut on the world stage. (Boston.com)

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