Chad Johnson is many things. Condom salesman, Lamborghini connoisseur, a saint who gives wedding invitations to strangers, and a dude who would gladly receive passes from Oprah. He is all things to all people.
And he also could be a liar.
Yesterday while noting Johnson’s terrifically insane quote regarding his supposed monster season that’s on the horizon regardless of who’s throwing the football for his Miami Dolphins, I reflected on his time in New England, when he was still Chad Ochocinco. I did that because Johnson traveled down the same memory lane, and he said that as a Patriot his bubbly and charismatic personality was contained by the Belichick dictatorship.
As watchers from afar, we can only judge Johnson by what we saw, and aside from a dramatically under producing receiver, we also saw a formerly eccentric player who became dull and a shell of himself. The assumption was that Johnson may, in fact, be human, and as a fully functioning person his mood can be reflected by struggles of any kind, personal or professional. The other half of our assumption was that Belichick had indeed put a tight seal around Johnson’s mouth, making him wither and die.
That’s what he said. He wasn’t allowed to be himself off the field, and therefore his normal self also didn’t show up on the field. As Tom Curran of CSN New England tells us, that’s complete crap.
Belichick didn’t interfere with the former Ocho and his attempts to be Ocho. Instead, according to Curran, Johnson zipped himself shut.
Quick story: Last year at this time, Chad was supposed to meet with the media for the first time.
But before he came over to the scrum of media, Chad flagged down Bill Belichick. He got up close and started speaking earnestly.
Chad did all the talking. Belichick mostly shrugged and smiled. It was apparent Chad was asking permission to speak to the media. It was also apparent that Belichick had no problem with Chad speaking to the media. All the Patriots wanted was for Chad to play football well.
Like the man himself, the perception of a heavy-handed restriction on Johnson’s mouth in New England may have be little more than a charade.
And now the links part of the links post…
- The biggest non-story that kept being a semi-story throughout the offseason because Darrelle Revis refused to confirm or deny anything is officially over. He’s reporting to training camp. [Rich Cimini on Twitter]
- Another Mike Tomlin quote about Mike Wallace‘s contract situation that’s just oozing with Mike Tomlin-ness: “It’s bigger than Mike, it’s bigger than me, so I mean that when I say it’s unfortunate for him that he’s not here.” [Ed Bouchette]
- After a difficult upbringing, football has been one of Dez Bryant’s few safe havens. But now, time away from the field to focus on himself may be the best tonic for his troubles. [Calvin Watkins]
- There’s competition everywhere on every field for nearly every position in August. ‘Tis the nature of training camp, but in Buffalo, three especially key positions are up for grabs. [Buffalo Rumblings]
- Christian Ponder’s confidence was rocked last year when he was rocked repeatedly. [Pioneer Press]
- Morris Claiborne was tested on one of the first plays on the first day of Cowboys camp. Welcome to the bigs, kid. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- When the Jets acquired Jeff Otah from the Panthers, they knew the risk, and were gambling for the reward. Now after Otah failed a physical, risk is about to beat the crap out of reward. If Otah doesn’t pass his physical today, the trade will be voided. [New York Times]
- The next time you’re waiting for an elevator that’s stuck on the 36th floor, think of how your pain relates to football. Because it does, it really does. [Mile High Report]
- Yesterday Charlie Peporah discovered that five interceptions last year isn’t enough to keep your job in Green Bay. [Green Bay Press Gazette]
- In other roster discoveries, Joseph Addai learned that the ability to pass block isn’t enough to keep a roster spot in New England. [Boston Herald]
- LaDainian Tomlinson: fantasy football legend. [Bill Simmons]
- Controversy? Kevin Kolb is numb to it. [Sheil Kapadia]