No one confuses Chad Johnson's work ethic with the work ethic of the legendary Jerry Rice or Walter Payton. I highly doubt that either eat, drank and lived McDonalds three times a day for seven days a week. And much to the fan's frustrations. How many times does Chad trot off the field dehydrated? You could easily attribute that to a poor diet. The guy's a freak of nature -- so I'm not so sure that's easily the problem.
Chad is now finding new motivation to be great -- to repeat his NFL leading 1,369 yards receiving and to finish stronger than his last three games last season (10 receptions, 122 yards, 0 touchdowns) in which the Bengals failed to win a game that would have placed them in the playoffs. That motivation includes playing Oklahoma against a guy that's over 70 pounds heavier than him.
"Chad called out Eric Henderson; it didn't go his way," Lewis said.
Renewed Running Game?
It's believed that Rudi Johnson had a depreciating season. Of his past four seasons, Johnson recorded a career low 3.8 yards per rush. His 67 (7th in NFL) first downs was 12 off his 2005 total. He had five rushes of 20 yards or more -- which equals his 2005 and 2003 total. Johnson had 30 rush attempts of 10 yards or more -- ranked 12th.
Still, Johnson was inconsistent. He was stuffed 31 times (ranked 5th); for comparison sake, Larry Johnson lead the NFL by being stuffed 40 times. Johnson only converted 60% (6/10) of his 3rd and short (three yards or less) situations.
To his credit, Johnson's 2006 season could be contributed to this... the Bengals played nine games against teams in the top-12 against the rush. Games against poor rush defenses and Johnson as expected. The Saints finished 23rd -- Rudi rushed 27 times for 111 yards rushing. Oakland finished with the 25th best rush defense -- Rudi finished with with 30 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns finished with the 29th best rush defense. Rudi dominated the first game (26/145 2 TDs) but struggled in Cleveland II (25/64 TD). Now if he, and his new born offensive line, can pick it up against the good teams, we'll be back on track.
The running game is renewed, resurgent and resurrected. Running game renewed, Anderson says [DDN]
Speaking of the Offensive Line
Of the offensive line this year, Jay Hayes says, "These guys are fit and they can move." Chip Morton says, "...these guys are not only big, but fit and lean." Marvin Lewis proudly said, "They're as big and strong and as formidable group as probably anywhere."
Did you know that Andrew Whitworth is a former junior golf and tennis champion?
Suggestion for Bengals.com
Stop already with the pop-ups when you accidentally hover over a player's name.