Johnson reports, hardly practices BY MARK CURNUTTE | MCURNUTTE@ENQUIRER.COM Last Updated: 6:10 am | Friday, June 13, 2008
Bengals minicamp might have opened Thursday with the promise of a new season on the horizon, a chance to put aside the bad feelings associated with last year's 7-9 campaign.
Instead, the day was shrouded in controversy regarding the team's most talked-about player, Chad Johnson.
If you thought Johnson's arrival at minicamp after a threatened boycott would put an end to the tension between him and the team, think again.
The disgruntled wide receiver, who has demanded a trade and said he feels alienated from teammates and coach Marvin Lewis, reported for workouts, was cleared to practice and then sat out most of the day's activities.
Lewis, throughout the day, repeatedly tried to downplay any friction between player and team and seemingly reached out to Johnson. Wearing a microphone for Cincinnati.Com at the start of the 3 p.m. workout, Lewis walked up to Johnson, who was stretching.
Posted: 5 hours 0 minutes ago Move on, move out: Time for Bengals to cut ties with Johnson By Thomas George | NFL.com Senior Columnist
CINCINNATI -- For each of the Cincinnati Bengals' 40 seasons, Mike Brown has been a part of it all in some way. First it was at the knees of his father and the franchises' founder, Paul Brown. Since his father's death in 1991, it is Brown who has been the organization's final voice and conscience.
Thus, when Brown says he does not know where things are going with disgruntled, brooding and restless receiver Chad Johnson, that means something.
"The only person who can really answer why he didn't practice today is Chad," Brown said. "I don't understand. But I do understand and he understands that the market will not allow us to just give up and give him away or trade him away. I can't tell you I have a clear roadmap in my mind where this all leads. We want him. He gets told that and told that and told that. At some point he has to know that.
"He made a commitment to us when he signed his contract. We relied on it. He is not someone you can replace quickly. It is not easily done. We are counting on him being here. We are."
And therein lies the crux of the dilemma for the Bengals.
They are counting on a player they cannot count on.
Chad focused on the season Bengals wideout says he'll report to camp, but ankle may limit activity in preseason By Mark Curnutte • firstname.lastname@example.org • July 22, 2008
The phone interview had been set up with Chad Johnson to promote the new Warner Home Video DVD release he narrates about big-time NFL playmakers, but the Bengals wide receiver wanted to talk more about the offseason past and the season ahead of him.
Johnson, who had arthroscopic ankle surgery in mid-June, less than a week after he was limited in the team's mandatory minicamp, said he was progressing well but not sure when he would be 100 percent and back on the field.
"My whole focus right now is on Baltimore," Johnson told The Enquirer about the Bengals' opening game Sept. 7 in Maryland.
Am I the only one who has a gut feeling that CJ is just going to go off this season - like 1,500 yds and 10-12 TDs? After all his BS settled down he seems really focused on playing well this season. Of course, it could be all Chad-speak, but I've never heard him sound so focused and determined before.
'85 is back' in top form Well, at least with trash talk By Mark Curnutte • email@example.com • August 5, 2008
GEORGETOWN, Ky. - Chad Johnson was back on the field Monday morning for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery June 18.
And while he might not have been full speed afoot, his gums flapped in high gear.
Johnson traded trash-talk with safety Dexter Jackson during the 11-on-11 drill. Then Johnson sought out safety Kyries Hebert on the sideline, slapped him on the shoulder pads and said, "85 is back." Then Johnson talked some more while hugging safety Marvin White.
Johnson, however, said nothing to reporters, choosing instead to sprint past them.
"It was good for him to get in with the rest of the football team and kind of immerse himself with the team," coach Marvin Lewis said. "And he's always raring to go; the biggest challenge now is to ease him back slowly and don't allow him to do more than he can."