|01-15-2006, 03:40 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
In other news: Chad Johnson swinging on coaches?
A league source tells us that multiple members of the Cincinnati Bengals witnessed a troubling incident as the team prepared to take the field for the second half of Sunday's playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Per the source, the last few minutes of intermission were ticking away, when the players were startled by the sight and sound of a helmet slamming against the glass pane of the training room door. Inside, receiver Chad Johnson and receivers coach Hue Jackson were engaged in an altercation. At one point, Johnson was seen holding Jackson in a headlock.
Coach Marvin Lewis entered the training room to intervene, and Johnson (per the source) took a swing at him.
Eventually, receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh broke up the skirmish, within a minute or so of the team exiting the locker room for the second half.
On Monday, several members of the team pointed to the Johnson-Jackson-Lewis incident as the catalyst for the loss of a 17-14 halftime lead and, ultimately, a 31-17 defeat.
Word is that Johnson was unhappy with the lack of balls thrown to him in the first half. A total of three passes came his way, with two completions.
In the second half, another three passes were thrown to Johnson, with only two more completions. For the game, Johnson had four catches for 59 yards.
The incident could have an even more lasting impact on the team than quarterback Carson Palmer's torn ACL and MCL. Some players, we're told, don't want to see Johnson back next year, and there's a belief that the team will be less inclined to give in to Johnson's request for a hefty restructuring of a contract that expires after the 2009 season.
So the Chad Johnson saga very well could evolve into the 2006 version of the Terrell Owens fiasco.
If so, it's very bad news for a franchise that otherwise looked to have a very bright future.
|01-15-2006, 03:40 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Chad denies that there was a fight. Bengals have no comment.
Chad: There was no fight
By Mark Curnutte and Paul Daugherty
Enquirer staff writers
Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson today denied reports that he was involved in a locker room fight at halftime on Sunday during the Bengals' playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When asked about a report from the Web site profootballtalk.com that claims Johnson was involved with an altercation with receivers coach Hue Jackson, and then swung at head coach Marvin Lewis, Johnson said nothing happened.
“That sounds like drama," Johnson said. "At halftime, I was getting an IV. Nothing happened. Why don’t you talk to the coaches, they’re all down there today.”
The Bengals had no comment.
“We don’t comment on rumors,” Bengals public relations director Jack Brennan said.
Citing an unidentified league source, profootballtalk.com reported that several Bengals players witnessed an altercation between Johnson and Jackson as halftime concluded.
Jackson did not return a message left this morning on his office phone at Paul Brown Stadium.
The site profootballtalk.com reported: “Per the source, the last few minutes of intermission were ticking away, when the players were startled by the sight and sound of a helmet slamming against the glass pane of the training room door. Johnson and (wide) receivers coach Jackson were engaged in an altercation,” according to the Web site.
“At one point, Johnson was seen holding Jackson in a headlock.
“Coach Marvin Lewis entered the training room to intervene, and Johnson (per the source) took a swing at him. Eventually, receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh broke up the skirmish, within a minute or so of the team exiting the locker room for the second half.”
The Bengals led 17-14 at halftime but lost 31-17 in the wildcard game.
The Web site reported that Johnson was unhappy about the lack of passes thrown to him, three with two completions in the first half.
Johnson caught two of the three attempts in his direction in the second half to finish with four receptions for 59 yards.
In post-game interviews Sunday, defensive tackle John Thornton was among the handful of players who talked in general about the lack of cohesion and that the team concept was lost and must be regained.
Thornton, reached this morning via cell phone, said, “I can’t confirm or deny anything that happened in the locker room.”
Thornton did say Sunday that the issue did not involve rookie players.
In his post-game comments Sunday, Lewis alluded, generally, to a problem, saying, “We came in here as a football team and we need to leave out of here as a football team and understand that it's about working through the tough times. You work through the critical points in the game and do you job.”
|01-15-2006, 03:40 AM||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2001
More from profootballtalk.com:
JOHNSON "TOO EMBARRASSED" TO ADMIT FIGHT
In response to the denial by Bengals receiver Chad Johnson of a halftime altercation with receivers coach Hue Jackson and head coach Marvin Lewis, our original source on the story says us that, in his opinion, Johnson likely is "too embarrassed" to admit to his behavior.
"Nothing happened," Johnson told The Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday.
But happen it did, insists our source, who has requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
The incident was "ridiculous," the source said, adding that he believes the actions of Johnson directly contributed to the outcome of the game. The Bengals led 17-14 at the break, ultimately lost to the Steelers by the score of 31-17. It was the Bengals' first playoff game in 15 years.
It remains to be seen whether Lewis, Jackson, or any other members of the coaching staff or team will be asked to comment on the record regarding the incident.
POSTED 1:45 p.m. EST, January 10, 2006
BENGALS WON'T COMMENT ON FIGHT
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals officially have declined to comment on our report of a halftime skirmish involving receiver Chad Johnson and receivers coach Hue Jackson and head coach Marvin Lewis during Sunday's playoff loss to the Steelers.
"We don't comment on rumors," said public relations direction Jack Brennan. (Editor's note: But do you comment on, you know, facts?)
For his part, Chad Johnson denies that a fight occurred.
"That sounds like drama," Johnson said. "At halftime, I was getting an IV. Nothing happened. Why don’t you talk to the coaches, they’re all down there today."
However, Johnson's admission to getting an IV places him in the training room at the time of the incident, which is where (per our report) the incident took place.
Mark Curnutte and Paul Daugherty of The Enquirer also asked defensive tackle John Thornton about the incident, and Thornton told them, "I can't confirm or deny anything that happened in the locker room."
Curnutte and Daugherty explain that after Sunday's game several members of the team made comments hinting at team turmoil. Said Lewis at the time: "We came in here as a football team and we need to leave out of here as a football team and understand that it's about working through the tough times. You work through the critical points in the game and do you [sic] job."
|01-15-2006, 03:40 AM||#4|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Notes: Chad's offseason starts fast
By GEOFF HOBSON
January 10, 2006
A heck of a start to the ’05 offseaon for No. 85. But Chad Johnson isn’t down as you think he’d be.
The man he calls Captain Kirk, Carson Palmer as the commander of the Bengals’ starship offense, has assured him he’ll be in Los Angeles throwing balls to him in early July. And, he denied he fought coaches and teammates at half time of Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh: “Then that must means I’m also dating Halle Berry and starring in a Steven Spielberg movie.”
Bengaldm got jolted into the offseason Tuesday morning when profootballtalk.com reported that Johnson went on a half-time tirade that included physical confrontations with head coach Marvin Lewis and receivers coach Hue Jackson. Johnson denied the reports Tuesday afternoon.
“I don’t know where it came from or who said it or what,” Johnson said. “All I know is I was going into the training room (for an IV), and we were just trying to figure out what we were going to do (in the second half).
Johnson said he’s fine with Lewis and Jackson, and that he spent time with Lewis Tuesday before the coach had to go into a personnel meeting.
“C’mon,” Johnson said. “Has there ever been a problem there?”
Defensive tackle John Thornton said Tuesday that his post-game comments about not being a complete team had nothing to do with Johnson because he wasn’t with the offense.
“I don’t know if anything happened because we’ve only got seven minutes at the half,” Thornton said. “I’m at the other end of the room with the defense.”
Thornton admitted he was emotional after the elimination loss, and was speaking generally about his team and how it didn’t respond to Palmer’s injury.
“We can’t be selfish,” Thornton said. “I don’t have a problem with any player on our team. We just have to learn to deal with some things when they go bad.
“I don’t know what happened, or if anything did,” Thornton said. “Chad is an emotional player. He just wants to make plays. I’m sure if anything happened it’s nothing that the team couldn’t have got over.”
Johnson spent more time Tuesday talking about Palmer’s fight back from reconstructive knee surgery, which could be as soon as Tuesday. Johnson says he’ll come back as good as ever.
“There is no problem. He’s too talented,” Johnson said. “He’s not a scrambling quarterback. If it was Michael Vick it would be a problem because he wins with his legs. Carson wins with his arm and there’s nothing wrong with his arm.”
Johnson and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh like to participate in a receiving camp that one of his old college coach’s runs during the first couple of weeks in July. That would be six month after surgery, and Palmer should be able to throw by then.
But Johnson isn’t concerned about losing timing with Palmer because he can’t be in the spring camps. He thinks they only have to work to time up two routes: The slant and skinny post. The post is run deep down the middle. P> “He doesn’t look at me at all. He just throws to a spot,” Johnson said. “He has to stare directly down the field to hold the safety. Usually it’s just a catch and you get hit. Once the ball comes out, he’s driving on you. It’s a big chunk. It’s at least 20 yards every time.”
Johnson, the first Bengal to lead the AFC in receiving yards three times, plans to leave Cincinnati later this week and he’s thinking about stopping in to watch Sunday’s Steelers-Colts game in Indianapolis. He’ll head to his third straight Pro Bowl for the Feb. 12 AFC-NFC game in Honolulu.
“I still think,” he said, “the best is yet to come. The next five, six seven years. It’s going to be better than it was this year.”
|01-15-2006, 03:41 AM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2001
More from pft.com:
MORE CORROBORATION OF JOHNSON FIGHT
As Bengals receiver Chad Johnson continues to deny that he engaged in a locker room brouhaha with receivers coach Hue Jackson and head coach Marvin Lewis, we continue to hear from new sources that the incident Johnson claims didn't happen in fact did.
This one came to us unsolicited (but second hand) from one of the many agents we've gotten to know over the past four-plus years. Said the source:
"I spoke to a player that I am very close to on the Bengals today and he confirmed the incident you have been reporting. He said that there was a 'swing' taken in Marvin’s direction and that Marvin did nothing about it. My source also said that he felt like 'kicking Chad's ass' and that Marvin never stands up to Chad. He said that they allow him to act like a 12-year-old and that it definitely affected their play in the second half."
The problem, of course, is that no one has gone on the record to dispute Johnson's version of the events. Lewis has been conspicuously silent, as has been Hue Jackson.
But this isn't a game of rock-scissors-paper in which a public denial trumps the truth. The players understandably are reluctant to discuss the matter publicly, apparently because they believe that any public comment on the issue would not be appreciated by Coach Lewis.
There's also a general belief in locker rooms that, as Herm Edwards a/k/a Jackie Chiles said on Monday, "what stays in my house, stays in my house."
Also, let's consider for a moment the bass-ackward logic that was spawned by the Eephus pitches hoisted in Chad's direction during last night's press conference.
Softball #1: "Chad, if any of this stuff was true, wouldn't -- wouldn't Coach Lewis based on what we know about him have done something about it during the game?"
Johnson: "Probably so."
Softball #2: "Do you think you would have played if you would've took a swung [sic] at him? Do you think you would have played?"
Johnson: "He would have sat me down."
But if Marvin Lewis has decided in the middle of the moment, only seconds before it was time to head back to the field and receive the kickoff to start the third quarter, that it was an emotional reaction by an emotional player in very emotional circumstances and that the team, already down Carson Palmer and Chris Henry, couldn't win with Chad Johnson out of action, Lewis would have done precisely what he did.
Nothing. Nothing at all.
And let's assume Lewis had benched Johnson for the second half of the franchise's first playoff game in 15 years at a time when the Bengals were clinging to a three-point lead and without their starting quarterback and their No. 3 receiver. With Kelley Washington inactive, the Bengals would have had three wideouts for the rest of the game -- T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Kevin Walter, and Tab Perry.
The post-game press conference would have been interesting, to say the least.
Hardball #1: "Coach Lewis, why didn't Chad Johnson play in the second half of the game?"
Lewis: "Coach's decision. Next question."
Hardball #2: "But what could have happened to cause you to bench one of the best receivers in the NFL during crunch time in the team's first playoff game in 15 years?"
Lewis: "As Herm Edwards might say tomorrow when addressing his exit from the Jets, what stays in my house, stays in my house."
Hardball #3: "What the hell does that mean?"
Lewis: "I don't know. Ask Herm tomorrow. But I think it means we don't talk about things that happen in the locker room."
Folks, there's no way Lewis would have been able to keep a lid on what had happened, if Johnson had been yanked from the game. Even if Lewis had refused to explain to the media why Johnson was benched, at least one of the other players would have viewed the benching as tacit approval to talk about what happened. Johnson, at a minimum, likely would have said that there was a confrontation in the locker room but that the punishment didn't fit the crime.
Bottom line -- Lewis made a snap decision to brush the whole thing under the rug, and everything that has happened since then was a natural consequence of the choice Lewis made.
Including the decision by multiple other players to talk privately about the matter. It's not an uncommon phenomenon when players believe that there is one set of rules for them, and another set of rules for the photogenic superstar who has the head coach and the media wrapped around his finger.
Human nature, under such circumstances, spawns resentment -- especially when there's reason to believe that the circumstances ultimately prevented the team from achieving its goal of advancing in the playoffs.
"The special treatment program is a dangerous path," one league insider told us on Wednesday morning. In this specific case, it's possible that one or more of the players will fink on Chad publicly, turn on Lewis for allowing Johnson to misrepresent what occurred, or want out of Cincinnati.
As we've learned too many times in matters of politics, the cover up is often worse than the crime. In this case, the cover up is in full gear. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether one of Johnson's teammates will stand up and expose the truth.
|01-15-2006, 03:44 AM||#6|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2001
Kush & Irsay
Even before I finished the read I thought TO part II. I know that lead singers in Rock-n-Roll can get LSD (Lead Singer Disease) see Axl Rose, David Lee Roth etc etc...I guess NFL WRs seem to be suffering from the same malady.