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Tank Johnson: The Problem Last Year Was Chemistry

The Cincinnati Bengals defense ranked 20th in the NFL in 2010; a fall from the fourth overall spot in 2009. Much of it had to do with injuries. Guys like Chinedum Ndukwe, Chris Crocker, Adam Jones and Tank Johnson missed time. So did Johnathan Joseph, Antwan Odom, Jonathan Fanene, Morgan Trent and Roy Williams. Injuries kept mounting and the Bengals defense kept suffering.

It's not that we're excusing the team's 4-12 season that capped a year in which expectations were high coming off an AFC North Championship. But you can't disregard the fact that many of your starters and backup players suffer prolonged injuries.

However, during Sirius NFL Radio's Late Hits, as John Thornton recaps, Tank Johnson said that a major problem with the team was chemistry.

One of the first things that came out of Tank’s mouth was that the team lacked chemistry.  That’s not anything new, we all saw that last year.  But Tank then went on to say that the whole "Chad and T.O. show" was too much for this "humble" team.  He said that with the star WR’s coming into the season, fresh off of their reality shows, it brought to much hype to a team that did things differently in 2009.  He said in 2009, players played for each other, played for the coaches, and played for the owners.  And in 2010 the team didn’t have that.  Tank went on to explain himself, which I thought was very important. Statements like these usually create a headline, and it seems like the player is calling out his teammates, which Tank didn’t do.

Johnson posted 12 tackles during seven games in 2010, placed on Injured Reserve several weeks after suffering a knee injury against the Miami Dolphins.