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BlitzburghRockCity 08-05-2005 01:02 AM

Bengals talking smack already

The Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are already staging a war of words.
Bengals wideout Chad Johnson sent the initial salvos two days ago, when he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "No one (in Pittsburgh) can cover me."

He went on to trash talk several members of the Steelers secondary, including cornerbacks Willie Williams and Deshea Townsend, and safeties Troy Polamalu and Chris Hope.

The Steelers on Thursday reacted to the brash wideout's verbiage -- some shrugging it off, others chuckling and a few shooting back.

Even coach Bill Cowher weighed in on Johnson's ripfest.

"I heard about it, I read about it," Cowher said. "I guess it's the dog days of Cincinnati right now. It's nice to know we're in the thoughts of many people's minds. We're flattered by that."

Johnson took some extra digs at free safety Hope, first forgetting his name and then saying, "You tell Hope I'm going to give him all elbows."

Hope cracked a smile when told of the "elbow" quote, claiming it was just Chad Johnson being, well, Chad Johnson.

"I think he's a great guy and a great player and he looks to have fun any way he can," Hope said. "You've got to respect that from him. Last year, he sent the Cleveland Browns Pepto Bismol (to cure the ills supposedly brought on by Johnson). So, this is just another one of his pranks. I appreciate him thinking about us so early."

Williams also perceived the comments as being lighthearted, though he did point out that there is always some truth in a joke. In this instance, perhaps Johnson, a Pro Bowl wideout who led the AFC in receiving yards last season, believes the Steelers secondary has weaknesses.

"And maybe it's not just him, maybe other wide receivers out there think that, too," Williams said. "I don't trash talk, but whatever he feels he wants to say, he can say."

The Steelers ranked fourth in the NFL in pass defense last season, allowing 177.2 yards per game. The unit is pretty much intact this season, sans Chad Scott. And, even though they didn't completely dominate Johnson -- he had nine catches for 134 yards with a touchdown in his two games against the Steelers -- they neutralized him, for the most part.

The Steelers face Johnson for the first time this season Oct. 23 in Cincinnati.

"If we would have been playing them this week, (his words) might have been taken more personally, but we're still in training camp and we have two to three weeks of practice against each other before we think about Cincinnati or anybody else," Hope said. "But he must think very highly of us to worry about us this early in the year."

When Steelers free safety Mike Logan got wind of Johnson's comments, he put a call in to Bengals defensive lineman and former West Virginia teammate John Thornton, letting him know that Johnson's words were causing a stir. Thornton explained that it was Chad Johnson being - you guessed it - Chad Johnson.

"That's marketing for him," Logan said of Johnson. "He's a great receiver. I know Chad personally and what he did right here was just to help sell papers. And even if he does feel that way, he wouldn't come out and say it like that."

Or, maybe he would.

"The key is not letting it get to your head," Williams said. "It's not getting to my head and I hope the guys aren't letting it get to them."

Neither Williams nor Steelers linebacker Clark Haggans subscribes to Johnson's trash-talking style.

"Coach Cowher always tells us you don't want to put bulletin-board material up," Haggans said. "And he can do that, and that's fine, but we still have to play football. That's where you can't just talk it, you have to walk it."

Johnson, who proclaimed he plans to send some of his opponents gifts again this year, said the Steelers will get Heinz Ketchup.

"Good," Williams said, "I'll put it on my French fries."

BlitzburghRockCity 08-05-2005 01:03 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already
OK Chad, bring it on. We've covered you before, we'll cover you again. You're not THAT good man ! But this is just chad being chad so we can take it w/ a grain of salt.

No disrespect to our bengal SF friends, but u know I had to post this up!

bigbensgirl7 08-05-2005 01:14 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already's definately Chad being Chad! I don't take anything out of his mouth very seriously. It's all in good fun, and I think Bill said it best..."I heard about it, I read about it," Cowher said. "I guess it's the dog days of Cincinnati right now. It's nice to know we're in the thoughts of many people's minds. We're flattered by that."

Prosdo 08-05-2005 01:17 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already
lol Nice quote by Cowher! I'm sure Cincy didn't like it.

BlitzburghRockCity 08-05-2005 01:52 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already

I guess it's the dog days of Cincinnati right now
oh, u can read into that in soooooo many ways!! :rofl:

bengalsfan21 08-05-2005 01:57 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already
Just answer me this......Who can cover Chad one on one....Nobody, not Chump Baily, not Yy Law, nor Williams or Townsend...With that said, Chad cracks me up

Livinginthe past 08-05-2005 05:27 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already

Originally Posted by bengalsfan21
Just answer me this......Who can cover Chad one on one....Nobody, not Chump Baily, not Yy Law, nor Williams or Townsend...With that said, Chad cracks me up

You know what makes me who keep asking - who can cover receiver 'X' one on one?
When fans focus too much on what their one star player can do - its a sign that their team may not be that strong as a whole....maybe one small element is missing....say...maybe...a DEFENCE....

Chad, being Chad or not, is running his mouth on the back of personal stats not any sort of team accomplishment - and when it comes down to it, this is a good insight into whether he sees himself part of the Bengals organisation, or Team Chad.

Anyways, smack talk nearly ALWAYS helps the opposition gain extra motivation - why do you think Bill Belichick is always bigging up the likes of the Cardinals and 49ers?



LambertIsGod58 08-05-2005 08:25 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already
If NOBODY could cover Chad Johnson, I would think that Cinci would be posting better records than 8-8.

ironcitychef 08-05-2005 10:18 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already
Just for the record some scientific notes on "Chad"...

Tied for 6th in # of pass attempts to him, but a low 43rd in & of those passes caught. Chad tends to play to his competition ie- burns Bailey and McAlister but struggles against Henry of the Browns in the Pepto game. He also gets distracted as he starts to put up numbers and then gets hit or starts jawing and his body position and mechanics get out of wack.

Also Johnson and Washington faced soft coverage(backs at least 7 yards off the player at line or in prevent) 17.9% and 24.0% of the time respectively.

Which could show that they are respected, but also that combined with him only catching 50% of the balls thrown at him, shows yeah might not be able to cover him one on one, but as long as you have help over the top he isn't much more of a deep threat statiscally than Greg Lewis and Randle El.

bigbensgirl7 08-05-2005 11:53 AM

Re: Bengals talking smack already
Good stats ICC!
I agree with Living here. Usually in my experiences the guys talking smack before games usually get shut up quick...esp. by teams like the Steelers and Pats! It gives them the extra motivation on to take care of things on the field. Chad in some ways might back up what he says, but this is a team sport and the last thing I would want to do is piss off one of the top ranked defenses in the league last year!
Does anyone remember what happened to the Ravens in 2001 when the Ravens were talking a ton of smack before the game. Ray Ray claiming that we were going to see who the #1 defense was (which we did-but they wore black and gold...not purple) this is also the same game Fat Tony told his fans to follow anyone wearing black and gold in to the bathroom and take care of business and they were going to take care of business on the field. (This is the same year that we statistically dominated them in our first meeting but Kris Brown missed 4 out of 5 FGs) Well what happened...our guys laughed at them in the locker room when Cowher told them all about it and came out and pounded the Ravens and clinched the AFC North. (This was one of my favorite games to watch)
Some teams might get intimidated by the smack talk...but the Steelers seem to respond to it and take it out on the field-and they usually end up having the last words!

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