For just about all of the past calendar year, it seemed like there was little to no chance that Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad ‘Ocho Cinco’ Johnson would remain with the team past the 2008 season. He was unhappy and made it very well known publicly. Fast forward to this offseason and Ocho Cino is suddenly content with where he’s at and ready to help the Bengals get back in to contention in the AFC North. The five-time Pro Bowler is still entertaining fans, but not with his selfish antics. Instead he’s doing most of his jawing on Twitter and it’s proven to be quite harmless and comical.
He joined KGOW in Houston to talk about his decision to remain in Cincinnati, the HBO show Hard Knocks which will be covering the Bengals camp later this month and in August, his plans to work with quarterback Carson Palmer starting this week and about the use of Twitter (how the interview was lined up) by athletes and celebrities.
On being the star of HBOs Hard Knocks, which will be chronicling the Cincinnati Bengals training camp:
“It’s cool, it’s cool. I think I might take a back seat approach to what people are used to seeing and really take the Hard Knocks thing seriously.”
On what he and the team are doing differently to prepare for the upcoming 2009 season after consecutive disappointing campaigns:
“Well, physically, I like to call it traveling around the globe just to get myself prepared for this season. One of the things I’ve really stuck with is the boxing – I’ve tweeted about the boxing and I actually posted some of the things I’ve done with that. You know, they helped me out with my conditioning, my cardio, my hand speed, my footwork – all that’s going to translate and help me along once the season starts.”
On the back-and-forth he’s had on Twitter with Ron Artest and Shawne Merriman and if he and the Chargers linebacker are going to get in to the ring:
“I was just having fun with Shawne but if he wants to get serious, there’s nothing to it. But I’m just letting him know, come December 20th, we’re going to have some fun, whether he’s mad or not.”
On Twitter and why he thinks it’s a valuable tool for himself and other athletes trying to connect with fans:
“You know, it’s funny – I like it. I like it because it gives me the opportunity to reach out to thousands of people at one time. It gives me a chance to get my story across when something goes wrong…It’s big for me and I’m taking it a step further. I have my own application coming out where people will be able to interact and follow me. You know more than through just the keyboard and reading my messages – you’ll actually be able to follow me and when the season starts, it’s going to get even worse. I’m going to really make it fun. I’m using Twitter during games, during halftime, after the games. I’m going to be taking it to the next level.”
“A lot of people have short memories and they’ve forgot some of the things I’ve done throughout my career. The only thing that they can remember is last year. You have to remember, I was in a state of mind where I wasn’t happy at the time; I wasn’t focused at the job at hand; and to that, you get what you got. I didn’t perform to my abilities. Half of that was on me and also I’m not alone losing my quarterback, but things of that nature. But I’m back this year and I’m on fire. I’m telling you, when you think about most of the time when I’ve talked in the past and when I say something – it always happens. And when I tell you we’re going to win, it’s going to happen. When I tell you we’re going to go to the playoffs, it happens. When I tell you I’m going to have a great year, it’s going to happen. And nothing’s going to get in the way of that.”
On his plans to stay with Carson Palmer for a week to get their timing down sooner rather than later and how he’ll be dealing with the whole wife and baby thing that could potentially stand in the way of the work that Ocho Cinco claims he wants to do with Palmer:
“It’s ok, I understand they have theirs. But I have my certificate where I can be a nanny. So I’m going to babysit and I’m going to allow Carson and the wife – you know..I have a schedule printed out and everything that I’m going to put on the refrigerator…The check list’s coming back this year only this year it’s going to be in Spanish so if you don’t know Spanish, you won’t be able to read it.”