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HairOnFire

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Shutting up Johnson is step 1 in Cincy's recovery

By Mike DeCourcy - SportingNews

Witnesses say it was possible to hear Marvin Lewis' postgame tirade through the locker room doors and down the halls beneath Paul Brown Stadium. I live about 14 miles away in suburban Cincinnati, but I do know something woke me up at the end of that Monday Night Snooze.

In the press conference following the Cincinnati Bengals' loss to New England, Lewis called the players "selfish."

Behind the closed doors of the team locker room, in his postgame address to the players, the Associated Press' Joe Kay reported that Lewis shouted, "Nowhere in the NFL do guys act like this. We've got to figure this out."

Lewis was right about what he said, but it was a little too much like the bartender yelling at the drunk after serving him 15 beers.

Lewis has been the enabler to this situation since arriving to coach the Bengals in 2003. And even while privately and publicly identifying the primary problem with his football team this time, he did a little more enabling by declining to identify the primary culprit: wide receiver Chad Johnson.

Johnson placing his own stardom above the team's success has defined the Bengals during Lewis' tenure, much more so than the string of arrests that made them a national punchline. Lewis has had several opportunities to contain that affliction: upon his introduction as head coach; following Johnson's reported halftime altercation with his receivers coach during the franchise's one recent playoff game; or during last season's collapse out of playoff contention. Monday night, Lewis whiffed again.

In the second quarter, Johnson followed a Leon Hall interception with a 21-yard catch-and-run that set up the Bengals at the NE 1. His team was inches from cutting the Patriots' lead to three points, but Johnson's lone concern was that he missed scoring a touchdown. He went into a drama-king performance in which he appeared to be acting out the scene from "Oedipus Rex" in which the title character chooses to gouge out his eyes. Now that was a fitting metaphor, because the Bengals long have chosen to remain blind to Johnson's destructive impact on their team.

After ProFootballTalk.com revealed Johnson had argued with assistant coach Hue Jackson during halftime of the Bengals' 2006 playoff loss to pissburgh -- following a first half during which Johnson had caught only two passes -- the Bengals' reaction was not to deal with the cause of the problem, but rather the person who made it public. Remember, the Bengals were ahead of Pittsburgh, 17-14, at the time Johnson was alleged to be complaining about his touches. They never scored again.

When the Bengals were on their way to losing an embarrassing decision to the Cleveland Browns earlier this season, Johnson twice endeavored to deliver a promised leap into the "Dawg Pound" cheering section. Once, he was at the wrong end of the field. The second time -- with the Bengals trailing despite his TD -- he jumped in and was doused with beer.

Monday night, after television cameras showed Johnson bickering with quarterback Carson Palmer at the start of the halftime break, Palmer took responsibility for what occurred -- both on the field, when he threw an interception after either he or Johnson figured the pass route incorrectly, and off the field, when it appeared Johnson was the one was doing all the griping

Around Cincinnati, they so love Chad Johnson. They wear his No. 85 jersey as though it is the Shroud of Turin. They believe he is an incredibly gifted wide receiver. (They're right). They believe he is extremely funny. (They're wrong).

They look forward to his ridiculous performance art pieces following most every touchdown. They chortle at his public challenges to opposing defenders.

Johnson does have some apparent support in the Bengals locker room. If he did not, this would have been handled long ago. That support makes it difficult for another player, such as Palmer or tackle Willie Anderson, to call out Johnson directly. But an effective coach cannot allow such issues to fester.

Lewis is a better coach than many Bengals fans, crushed by the three-game losing streak, want to believe. They forgot it is nearly miraculous, given the franchise's recent history, that none of his teams has endured a losing season. If Lewis wants to be a better coach, though, a great coach, he has to be in command of his team. It is a football team he is running, not a dance team.

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What I don't understand is how Chad can be the best wr in the NFL when we win but when we lose he's the cancer, it can't be both ways.

I think Marvin gives Chad a pass because of his talent and passion for the game, Chad puts in the effort to be great, he works harder than 99% of his teammates. Marvin sees this and loves Chad for it, that is why he over looks Chad's out burst.

Football is an emotional game and Chad plays with plenty of it, it's his gift and curse.

With all of the problems this team is having I don't think it's fair to make Chad the scapegoat. Did Chad blow a game winning field goal? NO. Did Chad botch an extra point snap in Denver? NO! Last time I checked he plays offense so he had nothing to do with Derek Anderson & Co. lighting up the score board for 51 points. There is plenty of blame to share for the way the team has played of late and singleing out Chad isn't right, imo.

Yes, he does need to chill with the "look at me, I scored a td" stuff but that shouldn't effect how the defense and special teams perform.

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Shutting up Johnson is step 1 in Cincy's recovery

Around Cincinnati, they so love Chad Johnson. They wear his No. 85 jersey as though it is the Shroud of Turin. They believe he is an incredibly gifted wide receiver. (They're right). They believe he is extremely funny. (They're wrong).

They look forward to his ridiculous performance art pieces following most every touchdown. They chortle at his public challenges to opposing defenders.

Lewis is a better coach than many Bengals fans, crushed by the three-game losing streak, want to believe. They forgot it is nearly miraculous, given the franchise's recent history, that none of his teams has endured a losing season. If Lewis wants to be a better coach, though, a great coach, he has to be in command of his team. It is a football team he is running, not a dance team.

I don't like what he says about folks in Cincinnati. Reading his comments an outsider would be lead to believe that CJ can do no wrong in Cincy and that he basically has the whole town by the jewels. I think the reality is that Cincy fans think he's amusing and a nice guy but for about a year they've been becoming gradually more and more uncomfortable with his antics. As it stands right now I think fans have a very little patience for him "just being chad" until we start winning again.

Totally agree that Lewis is a much better coach than he is percieved to be right now by most fans. Think about the almost instantaneous improvements he orchestrated and take into consideration that this is his first head coaching gig. Drafting questionable character guys and letting chad slide longer than he should have were both mistakes but tell me Parcels or Belacheat never made mistakes like this as they're careers were developing.

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Let's make this clear.

Chad can be a prima donna who craves attention and purports a public persona of self-promotion over "team" dedication. At best, he is a funny entertainer who rewards fans with great quotes and amazing performances all while ascending to the top-tier of WR's in the NFL. At worst, he is a nagging child who wants "his" and when he does not get what he wants will exhibit poor sportsmanship, poor teamsmanship and have those issues impact his on-field performance.

>>>>> BUT <<<<<<

CHAD DOES NOT PLAY DEFENSE!

CHAD DOES NOT PLAY SPECIAL TEAMS!

He does not tackle, cover, blitz, drop into coverage, stack the line, get in a gap, take on a blocker, close on a runner, flush a QB from the pocket or anything even resembling these activities.

If we are going to be led to believe that 85 is somehow responsible for thie problems on this team due to his known personality traits that means we must overlook the criminal antics over the past 18 months, we must overlook the bad luck of some injuries, we must overlook the shortcomings of the defensive scheme....

I'm not buying it.

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I don't like what he says about folks in Cincinnati. Reading his comments an outsider would be lead to believe that CJ can do no wrong in Cincy and that he basically has the whole town by the jewels.

I'd say the percentage of fans blindly defending Chad's antics on this board run somewhere around 90%. And that number becomes even higher if you include the Bengal fans who admit his actions are an unprofessional possibly divisive distraction, but quickly add qualifiers like...."Leave Chad alone. Chad doesn't play special teams."

Frankly, you may be right about fan patience being tested, but I don't hear anyone besides yours truly calling for any form of discipline. Instead, you hear a growing roar of fan voices demanding Marvin be fired for enabling Chad. Nevermind the fact that those same fans are just as guilty and would have done the same things Marvin attempted.

Like it or not this is about Chad. The bill for his clowning services has finally arrived, and payment can no longer be avoided.

And if you don't think that's fair, well....opinion noted. But haven't we learned that fairness and reality don't matter one bit once the media determines what your reality is?

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I don't like what he says about folks in Cincinnati. Reading his comments an outsider would be lead to believe that CJ can do no wrong in Cincy and that he basically has the whole town by the jewels.

I'd say the percentage of fans blindly defending Chad's antics on this board run somewhere around 90%. And that number becomes even higher if you include the Bengal fans who admit his actions are an unprofessional possibly divisive distraction, but quickly add qualifiers like...."Leave Chad alone. Chad doesn't play special teams."

Frankly, you may be right about fan patience being tested, but I don't hear anyone besides yours truly calling for any form of discipline. Instead, you hear a growing roar of fan voices demanding Marvin be fired for enabling Chad. Nevermind the fact that those same fans are just as guilty and would have done the same things Marvin attempted.

Like it or not this is about Chad. The bill for his clowning services has finally arrived, and payment can no longer be avoided.

And if you don't think that's fair, well....opinion noted. But haven't we learned that fairness and reality don't matter one bit once the media determines what your reality is?

Do you think the Bengals can in the ultimate team sport with a guy like Johnson who draws attention to himself like Chad?

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HaironFire,

You want to discipline chad for arguing with the qb on who made a mistake on a play?

I think you just said the media shapes reality. That argument between them has nothing to do with why the Bengals lost. And what the so-called reporters heard from Marvin about no one acting like this in the NFL most likely meant, all of his previous defenses with Pissburgh, Baltimore, and Washington had no problems remaining true to their INDIVIDUAL assignments.

That is what he meant by selfish. Selfishness inside the play, trying to boost personal stats instead of playing the team defense. People trying to get interceptions instead of trying to assist in pass coverage.

That is a problem all over the NFL but Lewis has overcame that before.

Dont let the media shape your reality that Chad Johnson is the reason the defense cant stop the lowly Derek Anderson or might Tom Brady. They are just building the soap opera. Why don't you email that writer at the sporting news and ask him why Justin Smith didn't keep his playside arm free when the Patriots backup RB reeled off a 25 plus yard run on the first drive?

You know what he would say to you, right? "I don't know because I don't understand what you mean. I think CJ distracted him or something."

I am not singling you out Hair. I just want to make a point that CJ/Palmer has nothing to do with the bengals losing.

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You want to discipline chad for arguing with the qb on who made a mistake on a play?

Not at all. In fact, I consider that display to be much ado about nothing. I even said as much in another thread. However, we're being swamped by comments from coaches and players who question the professionalism and maturity of this teams players, and in my opinion Chad is the worst offender by far.

In addition, there seems to be a growing consensus on this board claiming Marvin Lewis has lost control of the team...and if those posters are to be believed Chad Johnson's halftime meltdown provided the tipping point. So if many of you aren't the raging fugtards you seem to be then I'd be well served to seriously consider the things you're claiming.

Ehhh?

Bottom Line: Where we contuinue to disagree relates to who should pay the price for Chad's selfish clowning. And since I have no fondness for fall guys...I say he should.

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What I don't understand is how Chad can be the best wr in the NFL when we win but when we lose he's the cancer, it can't be both ways.

I think Marvin gives Chad a pass because of his talent and passion for the game, Chad puts in the effort to be great, he works harder than 99% of his teammates. Marvin sees this and loves Chad for it, that is why he over looks Chad's out burst.

Football is an emotional game and Chad plays with plenty of it, it's his gift and curse.

With all of the problems this team is having I don't think it's fair to make Chad the scapegoat. Did Chad blow a game winning field goal? NO. Did Chad botch an extra point snap in Denver? NO! Last time I checked he plays offense so he had nothing to do with Derek Anderson & Co. lighting up the score board for 51 points. There is plenty of blame to share for the way the team has played of late and singleing out Chad isn't right, imo.

Yes, he does need to chill with the "look at me, I scored a td" stuff but that shouldn't effect how the defense and special teams perform.

You got my vote for best Avatar on here, most people writing on this sight probably don't have a clue where that comes from. Everybody on the team is to blame, New England shut the offense down and just plowed past the defense. We have bigger problems then Chad he's not the reason at all that the defense sucks.

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This is stupid. I'm tired of hearing this crap. Chad is passionate and probably was upset about not catching a TD for his team. He gets frustrated. We all do. All this sky is falling crap needs to shut the hell up. Chad is certainly not the one to blame for this slump we're in. And that's all it is. A slump caused be injuries. It happens. Deal with it.

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What I don't understand is how Chad can be the best wr in the NFL when we win but when we lose he's the cancer, it can't be both ways.

IMHO he's FAR from a "cancer". A cancer throws his gear into the stands and sulks. Chad just wants to win.

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Let me guess Hair more TJ Less CJ? Chad works his ass off like no other and ya he's an attention whore but he earns his right to be.

Media and fans wanna call chad out and blame him for being selfness but wheres the proof? why hasn't one player came out and called chad on it? why hasn't an ex coach? don't you think some reliable source would come out about him being a cancer rather then wives tales?Chad wants to win at least HE FREAKING CARES about that which would seem couldn't be said about alot of the other players.

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Breaking news

It was just reported by PFT that a unnamed player said that Chad had kicked TJ in the face well punching out marvin and then he went and put carson to sleep with a rear naked choke.Come on guys we know chad is so selfish Forbid even the Idea of marvin talking about other players on this team like the players who seem to give up.

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What I don't understand is how Chad can be the best wr in the NFL when we win but when we lose he's the cancer, it can't be both ways.

I think Marvin gives Chad a pass because of his talent and passion for the game, Chad puts in the effort to be great, he works harder than 99% of his teammates. Marvin sees this and loves Chad for it, that is why he over looks Chad's out burst.

Football is an emotional game and Chad plays with plenty of it, it's his gift and curse.

With all of the problems this team is having I don't think it's fair to make Chad the scapegoat. Did Chad blow a game winning field goal? NO. Did Chad botch an extra point snap in Denver? NO! Last time I checked he plays offense so he had nothing to do with Derek Anderson & Co. lighting up the score board for 51 points. There is plenty of blame to share for the way the team has played of late and singleing out Chad isn't right, imo.

Yes, he does need to chill with the "look at me, I scored a td" stuff but that shouldn't effect how the defense and special teams perform.

You got my vote for best Avatar on here, most people writing on this sight probably don't have a clue where that comes from. Everybody on the team is to blame, New England shut the offense down and just plowed past the defense. We have bigger problems then Chad he's not the reason at all that the defense sucks.

"Kiss my Converse"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Am I the meanest? Sho'nuff!

Am I the prettiest? Sho'nuff!

Am I the baddest mofo low down around this town? Sho'nuff!

Well who am I? Sho'nuff!

Posted Yesterday, 08:03 PM

Avatar is from "They Call Me Bruce"

Close.."The Last Dragon" starring the beautiful Vanity

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Hair, without reading through this whole thread, just tell me what your implying? Do you think we should trade Chad like the clowns over on the Bengals.com boards? Or are you just saying that he should be disciplined. What are you getting at?

Remember, your talking about one of the most dedicated players on this team, matter of fact he's probably one of the most dedicated players in the NFL. Name another player on the Bengals that has literally shed tears on the field, there isn't one. If that isn't dedication I don't know what is. You can call them "antics" I call it passion... It seems like the vast majority of cincinnatians seem to forget that this is a guy, who practically lived at PBS. He's the first to practice and the last to leave.

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Hair, without reading through this whole thread, just tell me what your implying? Do you think we should trade Chad like the clowns over on the Bengals.com boards? Or are you just saying that he should be disciplined. What are you getting at?

Wow, you mean I'm not the only one openly willing to consider it?

Point blank, I'd discipline Chad immediately, but perhaps not in the way that many of you think. In short, I'd sit Chad down right now, perhaps privately...perhaps infront of the team, and read him the finer points of the Riot Act. I'd make it clear to him that the clowning stops immediately, and if it doesn't listen I'd reluctantly put him on the trading block at seasons end. And here's the rub because I don't do so merely as a threat. If another team offers an acceptable trade package I pull the trigger.

Fair enough?

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Going back to the title of the article in my opinion is the best solution. All the team has to do is make it a non-issue. The talk of trading one of our best players just because he's a little high maintenance is a bit premature. It is afterall only the fourth game of the season. Are they in a hole? Yes, but I would have to wonder what everyone's expectations were going into this season with the issues at LB, WR, and injuries in general. I think the spats here and there are expected do to the frustration of losing. I don't think Chad is any more a distraction than TJ. Correct me if I'm wrong but they both got into arguments (TJ's being with the HC) at different points during the game.

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The talk of trading one of our best players just because he's a little high maintenance is a bit premature. It is afterall only the fourth game of the season.

No real argument. It's probably as premature as the talk about Marvin Lewis being fired, Rudi being finished, Big Willie being one limping step away from retirement, or any other topic currently being debated on this board. The season is far from over and the Fates haven't decided anything yet.

Then again, this is Bengal Nation, a strange place where discussion of any and all worst case scenarios is our only real birthright.

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I wouldn't go as far as to call Chad a cancer, but I can definitely see how his antics would be a distraction. Football is all about channeling intense emotions and anger into high performance for 60 minutes. Chad is anything but capable of this. His little pouty act after not getting into the end zone against NE was ridiculous. Imagine if everyone on the team did that after a missed tackle, dropped interception, missed block or assignment, etc. They don't -- so why is Chad allowed to get away with it.

Consorting with the other team and other team's fans is bulls**t, too. Can you see him getting away with that with some old school guys like Krumrie or Munoz around? $5 says Krumrie would've kicked his ass if he tried to jump into the Dawg Pound after a TD. It's not about being the most entertaining guy on the field, it's about winning the bloody game.

Marvin's mantra is "just do your job," but he doesn't hold Chad to it. One thing he's right about: nowhere else in the NFL do players act like this.

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The talk of trading one of our best players just because he's a little high maintenance is a bit premature. It is afterall only the fourth game of the season.

No real argument. It's probably as premature as the talk about Marvin Lewis being fired, Rudi being finished, Big Willie being one limping step away from retirement, or any other topic currently being debated on this board. The season is far from over and the Fates haven't decided anything yet.

Then again, this is Bengal Nation, a strange place where discussion of any and all worst case scenarios is our only real birthright.

I agree it is also way too early to even discuss firing Marvin. I think people fail to realize there is a learning curve for become a successful HC just like with any other area in life. If you want instant gratification then hit the McDonald's drive-thru. The instant turnaround stories are few and far between in the NFL, even more so when discussing sustained success. If we want a perennial contender it will take time.

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