With new deals done, Celek, Johnson discuss importance of winning now

Brent Celek and Lane Johnson are fresh off new contracts and spoke to the media on Friday afternoon.

With both getting new contracts and being an important part of the Eagles offseason agenda, each felt that the way their contract negotiations were handled signifies an organization that believes it can win now.

"It’s definitely optimistic. We have a bunch of great young players here and veteran leaders," Johnson said. "I think we’re good where we’re at. Obviously there’s going to be some changes but we’ve got a new taste in our mouth and I think we’ll do a lot of good things moving forward."

"We’ve got a team that can definitely win now and we need to win now," Celek said. "I think we’ve got a great group of guys. I know that’s what the organization expects and we as players expect that too."

Celek signed a three-year, $13 million deal earlier this week. He got the news of a done deal on Monday night, his 31st birthday.

"My agent called me the night of my birthday and said we got a deal done," Celek said. "I was so excited I probably had tears coming out of my eyes. I just went downstairs and sat on my couch and thought about everything it took to get here and where we need to go as an organization. We need to win a championship here. We need to cap it off.

"I don’t know what else to say except this is one of the greatest days of my life. To be able to say that I’m going to be a Philadelphia Eagle for life, it’s a dream come true. I love this organization and the only thing I can do is do everything in my power to give it back to them. We’re going to work our butts off and try to bring a championship back to Philadelphia."

For Johnson, who signed a six-year deal worth a maximum of $63 million, this is a deal where he will have to prove he can achieve long-term success as he works toward a transition to the left tackle position.

"I’m very fortunate to be drafted to a great place where I’ve been able to develop and get better every year," Johnson said. "There’s a lot of room for improvement and if I ever do move to the left side, there’s obviously going to be an adjustment period. Moving forward, I’m fortunate to be where I’m at and owe a lot of things to the people that helped me along the way.

"I think it was definitely a fair deal. Wherever I’m going to be playing, I’m just going to give 110 percent and give them their money’s worth."

It will be an adjustment for both playing with a new head coach in Doug Pederson. Celek was familiar with Pederson from his time on Andy Reid's staff. Johnson met Pederson for the first time on Friday morning. Both players will have the ability to play for the same positional coaches.

"I’m happy for our whole tight end group that we can stay together and play another year," Celek said. "We’ve got to really be the foundation for the offense and for this team."

"That was big for me. Me and [offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] are real close," Johnson said. "He’s like a father to me. I credit him and [assistant offensive line coach] Greg Austin for really developing me every year since my rookie year. I owe everything to that guy for where I am today."

"I knew Doug quite well back when he was here," Celek said. "I would talk with him a lot about schemes, what he was thinking, because he was a quarterback in the league. He totally understands everything that a player goes through. He understands the X’s and O’s, what players are thinking on certain plays against certain coverages. I like Doug a lot. I think he’s going to be a great leader for us and he definitely understands football."

Celek and Johnson are just two of the deals the Eagles have been hard at work to complete. With them and tight end Zach Ertz already locked up, the Eagles now have their sights set on new deals for Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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