Johnson sends Browns message and bottle
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Chad Johnson played his idea of a sick joke on the Cleveland Browns. The Cincinnati Bengals' brash wide receiver, known for his quick feet and bold predictions, sent each of Cleveland's four defensive backs a care package containing a handwritten note and a bottle of pink Pepto Bismol.
"I think some of the guys are taking it personal," said Browns cornerback Daylon McCutcheon, who got a good laugh out of Johnson's gesture. "But I think for the most part, he (Johnson) is not an in-your-face guy. He just likes to have fun. He enjoys playing football. He's a jokester."
Hardy, har, har. At 2-3, the Browns, who host Cincinnati on Sunday, are already feeling queasy enough about their season that they might not find the joke very funny.
But that wasn't going to stop Johnson, who smiled when asked about his little prank intended for the medicine cabinet and not the bulletin board.
"I sent all the Browns DBs some Pepto Bismol, to cure them of their sickness," said Johnson, who added that the joke was a new one from his bag of tricks. "They're going to get tired of covering me."
Inside McCutcheon's box, Johnson tossed in a note that said: "Daylon, Just wanted to add a little color and relief to your week. All the best, Chad."
Anthony Henry, Robert Griffith and Earl Little also received FedEx deliveries from Johnson.
The fourth-year wideout personalized each package, signing the notes and including his No. 85 next to his signature.
As if the Browns needed the reminder. Two years ago, Johnson guaranteed a win over Cleveland and the Bengals backed his boast up by beating the Browns 27-20. Johnson had four catches for 103 yards, including a 72-yard TD.
Last season, Johnson had the first two-touchdown game of his career as the Bengals defeated the Browns 21-14.
This season, Johnson has just one TD catch — in the season opener — but has been double-covered more than before and opposing secondaries have made sure he doesn't get behind them deep.
Johnson, who led the AFC with 1,355 yards last season, says the Browns tend to isolate their cornerbacks, and he's hoping they try to cover him with just one defender.
"I see a lot of man-to-man on all the film I've watched this year, then every time I get out there, it's something different," he said. "Hopefully I will get what I'm seeing on the film and be able to expose that."
McCutcheon has no, er, ill feelings toward Johnson and said he's keeping the package in perspective.
"He's a good guy," McCutcheon said. "We have a good relationship off the football field. He's a character. He likes to keep the game fun, and that's the way it should be. It's about competition, but he likes to express themselves."
So, will McCutcheon be sending anything to Cincinnati the next few days labeled: Chad Johnson, One Paul Brown Drive, Cincinnati?
"Nah," he said. "I'm just going to go play on Sunday."