Either Chad Johnson decided that his character-suicide campaign this off-season was bad advice from Oil Slick; changing his own tactic (i.e., just getting ready to play). Or Oil Slick threw up the white flag and decided to let it go for the season which could turn out to be the most impressive victory for the Bengals this season (provided there's any truth to that). Since minicamp, we've seen Chad Johnson slowly return to the team leaving his "trade me" rants back home. Furthermore, I'm more and more convinced that Oil Slick, not Chad Johnson, was running the entire show.
I had yet to say this, but compared to the market, Johnson should be paid more. How badly we perceived Johnson's 2007 season, it was actually (statistically) his best season. He went about it was all wrong. Cincinnati fans, who are really forgiving provided you win for us, can put up with some serious negatives. In the end, Bengals fans decided that his value as a wide receiver wasn't enough to put up with his diatribes. That's actually pretty big. National media just laughed at him. NFL fans, like Bengals fans, thought to themselves why in the world would they want him on our team. Several General Managers of other teams admitted they wanted nothing to do with him.
Once Oil Slick left Cincinnati, and Toxicologists saved the tree that he sat under, Chad Johnson went from sulking to participating (albeit partially).
Geoff Hobson writes about Johnson and you clearly see an old Johnson -- the one that Bengals fans defended for years for his wackiness.
"He (Palmer) looked at film and looked at the things we missed on from Week 1 to Week 16 and he said 1,800 (yards) was reachable if we're perfect," Johnson said. "Of course, Carson and I were off on plays we usually clicked. We left a lot of plays on the field. We talked about what he and I need to do starting in July. We have a lot of work to do."
Hobson writes that Johnson "plans to be ready to run the second week of July with fellow Bengals receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Antonio Chatman, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell at a Los Angeles passing camp run by Chad mentor Charles Collins in which Palmer is slated to be one of the throwers."
In conclusion, I'm somewhat suspect. But not much. If what we're seeing is a forecast, then I'm 95% excited, 5% everything else. Johnson sees the defense that the Bengals put out there, and loved it. Even worried him because he was "roughed up" by the team's first-round cornerbacks. Perhaps this coming season might not be so bad.