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Chad Johnson (Ocho Cinco): Houshmandzadeh wants to be back

The glasses! Now we see why Johnson struggled so much this season.

Chad Johnson joined the NFL Network crew for a 15 minute segment (h/t to Dave at Stripe Hype).

The interview was very wide-ranging, starting with Chad Johnson's frame of mind compared to last year's call to get traded. Today, he said "I'm at peace right now." He continued, "I'm a Bengal, I'm going to be a Bengal for a while, I realize that. Not only throughout the season, talking to a lot of people within the organization, it is what it is. I'm going to stay committed where I'm at, do what I can to do to get to the post-season."

He was asked extensively about Houshmandzadeh's status as an unrestricted free agent. "We'll get number 84 back," said Johnson when Deion Sanders interrupted with "I don't see that one." Johnson brushed Sanders off and continued talking to Houshmandzadeh in the camera, "I'll see you in mini-camp." He re-affirmed that Houshmandzadeh was staying in Cincinnati, even if another team offered Houshmandzadeh a contract and the Bengals matched that deal saying "T.J. wants to come back." Johnson said of Houshmandzadeh's importance, "For us as Bengals to be successful offensively, we need eighty-four within that offense."

When someone made the comment that Carson Palmer struggled even before getting hurt, Johnson said, "T.J. and I didn't practice in all of training camp." Well?

He also said, "Defensively we played great football. Offensively, if we were anywhere where we needed to be, or where we had been in the past (2005), if we played that way, I would put my money that we would be where we (the NFL Network set at the Super Bowl) are at today."

Rich Eisen brought up the game that Johnson was forced to sit against the Pittsburgh Steelers on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football. Johnson said that he was asleep in his room when coach Marvin Lewis called to tell him he's late to a meeting. Johnson said that Houshmandzadeh typically picked him up before the meeting, but was now in Special Teams meetings and Johnson overslept. Once he got the meeting, he slumped in his chair and "finished his nap." In the end, Johnson said that he and Coach Lewis are "good."

He said that Arizona is proof that anything can happen. "So if anybody else has anything to say about Cincinnati not being able to make the post-season, Arizona can do it and they had a drought of some 61 years. We have a chance too, especially if we get, we will get, number nine back."

Three questions for you guys:

  1. If you watch the segment, you'll have to tell me what benefit Deion Sanders brings to NFL Network. Little does he speak of the actual game, taking "humorous" jabs at Johnson and the Bengals saying that Cincinnati can't, and won't, do much of anything -- with Johnson included. Sanders is proof that just because you played the game, you not necessarily qualified to take the microphone.
  2. It was a good interview on Johnson's part, sticking within the framework of being a teammate, promoting that the Bengals can win if they get the offense back with the defense they have right now. Man, this is going to be a boring post-season, isn't it?
  3. He did reiterate that his name would continue to be Chad Ocho Cinco, which puts us here at CincyJungle in a conundrum. We refused to call him Ocho Cinco because we believed, and still believe, that it was a publicity stunt. However, he's keeping on with it. So should we call him Ocho Cinco, or Johnson?