Conference call: Bengals WR Chad Johnson


(On Keith Bulluck referring to him as 'Oucho Cinco')

Man, tell Keith I'll hit him in the mouth. Like for real, we can take it off the field. Don't do that.

(On his relationship with Keith Bulluck)

Keith and I have been good friends for maybe four or five years. He's one of the better linebackers in the NFL. I love him to death. Just watching him on film and the rest of those dudes, they've got to be one of the top two defenses in the NFL. They look really good.

(On if the Titans will be looking for payback after losing 35-6 to the Bengals last year)

Yeah, I would think so. We were really good against them last year. I think about them having to play that Monday Night game [last year] and then come right back down and play the next Sunday with the short week. I really don't take too much credit for that with them not getting the proper rest and the proper practice they needed.

(On any post-TD celebrations he has planned for this year)

You know what, nothing right now. That was somewhat in the middle of the season, we were already rolling. Right now it's too early to do any of that stuff. Once we get cranking as an offense and things are going right and we're winning some games, that's when I'll emerge. Right now I have to stay quiet, make sure I'm doing everything right and stay as consistent as possible.

(On the amount of extra pressure exerted on a highly-marketed NFL player)

There is no pressure in this. I love this. This is one of the reasons why I do so much talking and draw so much attention to myself. It forces me to play at a higher level. It's not pressure. What pressure would be is telling all of us that we had to go to Iraq. Now that's pressure because we wouldn't know what in the world we're supposed to do at war. When it comes to football this is something we've all been doing since we were young. There's no pressure in being able to go out and perform.

(On if other players feel the same way regarding the lack of pressure in the NFL)

Not really. I had that talk with Coach [Marvin] Lewis about some of the ways I approach the game and some of the talking that I do. He said it puts pressure on other people but the way I approach the game and the way other people approach the game are completely different. My whole take is it's always football. It's still football no matter what I say, no matter what I do, they put their pants on the same way I do so it's no different.

(On if he sees the pressure weighing more on other players)

The way some of the coaches have put it to me, not just here but with a lot of people I've talked to, they say it does. Some people don't like the attention and with some of the things I've heard, I call it silly. Not from my coaches, but in general, it forces the other team to play at a higher level, it forces the opposing player to play better…he's not a robot. Either he's good or he's not. He's going to accept the challenge and win his individual battle. It's just an excuse to me.

(On how he puts a bad performance behind him)

Easy. In week 1 against Baltimore it was unbelievable. [Baltimore defensive coordinator] Rex Ryan gets two thumbs up for what he did last week. But I put that behind me. I just go and focus on week 2. This week it's Tennessee and it doesn't get any easier. Cortland Finnegan, very good. He doesn't the [expletive] credit he deserves, maybe because he's not a high-profile, flashy guy. But watching film on him, he's good.

(On what makes Cortland Finnegan good)

He's fast, for one. And then what separates corners in the NFL is when you're able to run, and not just being able to run, but being able to stop and transition. It's very, very hard. That's what separates Champ Bailey and the rest of the greats from the rest because you're able to run at full tilt and transition with receivers at a high rate of speed. Like last week, he was able to beat receivers off of the break twice. Maybe more than that because he had two picks. So that's what makes him special and I'm really looking forward to that challenge again.

(On if he thinks Cortland Finnegan is as good or better than Pacman Jones)

You've got two different type of animals all together. Both are fast, both are good. I mean it's hard to separate the two.

(On Cortland Finnegan's tenacious style of play)

Not really. Cortland is sort of your Michael Jordan. He's very, very good and he's not going to be nasty to you but he's going to smile at you and then kill you at the same time.

(On how Cortland Finnegan can reach the elite cornerback status)

Open his mouth, just one time. Just say, 'I'm going to shutdown whoever.' Just say it. Out of a 16-week schedule, he can probably lock down everybody he plays. Seriously. I'm going off of what I see on film and he's above average as a corner.

(On if Cortland Finnegan should make a chart like Johnson did matching up his opponent every week)

That would take him to number one in the NFL. You don't want to add fuel to my fire, though.

(On the life of a backup NFL quarterback)

At any point in time, they could hear their number [called]. At any point in time. Matt Cassell, New England. Kerry Collins, VY is down right now. They have to be ready to go at all times. With a veteran like Kerry Collins it should be nothing to him. It's like riding a bicycle, once you get back on, it doesn't take long to get back on.

(On if it's tough for backup quarterbacks to have long periods of time off and then step right back in a game)

I don't think so. I think Kerry Collins has played the game long enough. I mean he gets practice reps through training camp so it should be really easy for him.

(On the Bengals getting back on track after losing to Baltimore last week)

We can't afford to go 0-2. It's bad enough that we just lost a division game, which is really important. But it doesn't get any easier. We have one hell of a defense that we just faced. Then we have to come back and deal with [Albert] Haynesworth and [Jevon] Kearse and [Kyle] Vanden Bosch. With the pressure they put on, we have to deal with [Cortland] Finnegan and [Chris] Hope and [Nick] Harper and those guys. It makes the secondary's job much easier when you have a front four like they have in Tennessee. So we have to be solid all across the board. It all starts with the offensive line, down to the running backs, to the receivers and we have to make sure everyone is doing everything the right way.

(On what Baltimore did to disrupt the Bengals offense last week)

Man, I don't know. They played a [expletive] playground defense, some [expletive] they drew up in the dirt. That's what it was.

(On if it was a lot of man-to-man defense)

Man? If it was man-to-man defense we would have had 300 or 400 yards passing.

(On if he thinks the Bengals will see more of the same type of defensive look from the Titans)

Baltimore's the only defense that runs that, I don't even know what you call it, that backyard-style defense, that's what I call it. They're the only ones that do it. Tennessee is more, 'We're going to line up, show you what we're doing and try to stop it.' And they're damn good at it.

Related Content