Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Aug 2005

Chad Johnson Vows To Burn Steelers

As far as trash-talking goes, this is pretty funny. Chad Johnson is already giving the Steelers' secondary the business and it's barely August. And he also has a new nickname: 7-Eleven (because he's always open). Of course no NFL story would be complete without a mention of Drew Rosenhaus, who also happens to be Johnson's agent: "In 2003, Johnson received a $10 million bonus that was part of a $25 million extension. However, he has hired high-profile agent Drew Rosenhaus and has indicated he wants to renegotiate in 2006." No word yet on whether a new set of gold fronts will be part of any new contract.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 04 Aug 2005

32 comments, Last at 10 Aug 2005, 2:37pm by OMO


by Yaxley (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 10:20am

It's interesting to note that, unlike FredEx, Johnson at least knows the names of the defensive players he's trashing.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 10:29am

Sheesh. All these young kids get it backwards. First, make a play. Then talk smack.

by Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 10:34am

When did any Bengal earn the right to talk trash?

by TMK (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 10:42am

That's OK; let the Steelers and Bengals focus on each other. Let Polamalu, Johnson, Farrior and Who'sYerDaddy take potshots at each other.

There are twelve other teams on their schedules that would love that -- and one in particular that will make both of them pay a high price for dismissing them. How many rings you wearing, Chad?

by ffb champion (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 11:45am

he's the first receiver on my draft board and he gets bonus points for the trash. even his dogs have gold teeth. you gotta love it.

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 12:07pm

re #3: a person has to earn the right to trash talk?!

I talk trash all the time, and that's just playing amateur flag football. Personally I love trash talk and think it makes the game more interesting. I am so bored with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson going on about how great it is when a player just hands the ball over to the officials without any display of emotion when he scores (eg. LaDanian Tomlinson) Why is it so wrong for a player to celebrate a little when he makes a play? I think it's great that Johnson is this fired up when preseason hasn't even started yet.

by Al Davis (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 12:09pm

well, if the Steelers secondary had their hands full with the tiny little receivers (and a QB with a torn rotator cuff) on the Jets, Chad Johnson might just be right on and not to yella to say it...

Just Win baby!

by Jack (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 12:33pm

Oh no, a confident, exuberant, capable young black man, someone tell him to shut up and do what he's told, quick!

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 12:45pm


It's one thing to celebrate after scoring 6 points for your team. It's quite another to do so when you stopped a running back for only an 8-yard agin.

by dman (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 1:02pm

Jack, that is incredibly ignorant. Jeremy shockey got the same business when he was talking out of his ass. This has nothing to do with race, get off it.

by Jim A (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 1:32pm

There is indeed an important racial component to the issue of taunting in the NFL. See the link for an article a few years back by SI's Paul Zimmerman on this topic.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 1:37pm

If you don't want someone doing a dance, don't let them score. If they score and do a dance, next time they touch the ball or whatever, use whatever LEGAL means there are to let them know that you won't allow it. Otherwise, just let it happen.

by MadPenguin (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 1:39pm

Sigh...... Can we just play football.. talk all you want chad.. as a steeler fan i have more important things to worry about at the moment than the game with the bengals. Need Hines where he belongs. I hope the bengals have a decent season, and i hope they don't win in their games against the steelers.

by Mike (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 1:54pm

There's two issues here. Taunting and trash talk. I think it's obvious why the NFL wants to discourage taunting during a game. No one likes being beaten on a play, and hence they're going to feel bad about it, and upset, and emotional. Now if the other player comes and spikes the ball in their face, or says something choice about their mother, etc., then tempers will really flare. I think the NFL (rightly) wants to avoid player fights and injuries (i.e. to avoid becoming the NHL), which is especially important when there's so many ways to intentionally but subtly injure someone during the course of play if you're really pissed off.

But there isn't (nor should there be) any rule against trash talk before (or after) games. Nevertheless, except in the rare case where your team is slumping emotionally and you are trying to spark them, I don't think such talk (such as Chad's) ever serves either the team or the player. Tell me--did FredEx's trash talk before the superbowl accomplish anything other than getting Rodney Harrison and the Pats' secondary motivated and fired up, and getting Freddie run out of Philly over the offseason?

by calig23 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 2:32pm

Since when do players give themselves nicknames?

You are given a nickname.

I don't think Babe Ruth told people, "Ok guys, I'm going by 'Sultan of Swat' now, alright?"

Did Reggie Jackson say to reporters, "'Mr. October' is my name now, ok?"

Did Joe Montana say "My new nickname is 'Joe Cool.'"?

Did Joe Green say, "What do you guys think of 'Mean Joe Greene'? You think it works for me?"?

These guys earned their nicknames. What have Chad Johnson or Freddie Mitchell earned?

by MDS (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:00pm

Ron Mexico came up with his own nickname.

by Parker 'T-Bone' Beck (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:08pm

So did Michael Jackson. Remember when he told MTV that they had to call him 'The King of Pop' or he would not allow them show his videos or something. That's awesome.

I don't really have a problem with someone giving themselves a nickname (though it seems pretty stupid to me), what is annoying is when other people (like sportswriters and commentators) adopt it.

If no one calls him 7-Eleven, it will die quickly.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:16pm

I think anybody who tries to give himself a nickname should just be called 'Costanza'.

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:20pm

re #14: see, I never understand it when I read that somebody's trash talk simply fired up the opposition.

With that specific example, Mitchell's comments before the Superbowl, what are we saying here? The Pats secondary would NOT have been fired up for the Superbowl and played with no intensity if the guy had just kept quiet? That doesn't make any sense.

I remember a lot of comments on Matt Hasselbeck's "we want the ball and we're gonna score" comment suggesting that all he did was fire up the Packers. It was OT of a playoff game! The Packers weren't fired up already?

by MDS (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:40pm

Yeah, the Packers' plan was just to lay back in coverage and let Hasselbeck complete stuff underneath and march down the field for an easy field goal, but then when he had the audacity to say he was going to score, they decided to pick off a pass and run it back for a touchdown.

by WDD (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:55pm

Chad has been calling himself 7-eleven for a few seasons. Now that the Bengals are finally starting to play better its becomming a story again. Silly, but as long as it doesn't distract the team who cares. He plays hard, practices hard, and produces consistantly. Heck, he even admitted he made a fool of himself after the Pepto game in Cleveland and came out strong the rest of the season. Can't say the same about FredEx.

by Richie (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:57pm

When did any Bengal earn the right to talk trash?

The Bengals have been to more Super Bowls in the last 25 years than have the Steelers.

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 5:09pm

"The Bengals have been to more Super Bowls in the last 25 years than have the Steelers."

And just to use another arbitrary time frame, the Steelers have won more in the past 30 years than the Bengals, and as Jim Kelley will tell you, goin' taint the same as winnin'.

Of course I think the whole idea that you have to earn the right to talk smack is ridiculous.

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 5:12pm

Maybe they call him 7-11 because his mouth never closes?

by Richie (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 7:52pm

em>And just to use another arbitrary time frame, the Steelers have won more in the past 30 years than the Bengals, and as Jim Kelley will tell you, goin’ taint the same as winnin’.

Nope. But goin' is better than not goin'.

by SteelerBill (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 8:36pm

Chad Johnson is a good receiver - I think its funny that he's already talking...

He has 14 other games outside of the Steelers - as long as he understands that...

by TheEmerged (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 8:55pm

#26 -- So, you don't think the Bengals are going to the playoffs this year? Me either :-)

by charles (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 9:13pm

yeah chad johnson named himself 7-11 and peter warrick named himself waffle house because they say they are always open, just wanted to throw that out there.

Looking at the schedule the bengals actually have a chance of being undefeated heading into a week 7 matchup with pitt, and IMO the bengals had better be damn near undefeated because after week 6 they get pitt, gb, bal, indy, bal, pit in a row. Nice!

by LnGrrrR@hotmail.com (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 10:03pm

Hehe I like Chad Johnson, because he just is having fun. There's a difference between Joe Horn's stunt (which was rude and not funny) and the things Chad Johnson does.

by Terry (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 1:45am

What has Chad Johnson done?

Over the last three seasons, averaged 85 catches, 1265 receiving yards, and 8 receiving TDs.

FredEx he is not.

by VC (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 11:25am

Did anyone else think of the Rush Hour reference?

by OMO (not verified) :: Wed, 08/10/2005 - 2:37pm

Seriously...Chad Johnson is one funny dude...anyone see the Gridiron thing on ESPN...he had me cracking up.

Remember Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Joe Namath, Hollywood Henderson, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, etc...the NFL needs personalities (however nuts or insane they are (or coked up as in Hollywood's case) like Chad Johnson...it keeps it fun, it keeps it interesting.

Football is a game, it's supposed to be fun...taunting and lack of sportsmanship has no place with the youth of American glued to NFL broadcasts...but trash talking for the purposes of keeping it interesting...why not?

It's not like the earlier poster who correctly said that it's not like some idiot doing a tackle dance when he's laid out a running back 15 yards down the line of scrimmage...Chad Johnson is a sweet WR who backs it up on the football field.