At one point and time, there was a point that no one wanted to guard Chad Johnson. He was a fast receiver with excellent hands and a threat for defenses in deep ball situations.
Everyone in Cincinnati can see that Chad has not been the dominant player he once was. Having more drops than touchdowns, it tarnished one of the best receivers in the NFL to another thing to laugh about the Bengals.
Last season, he tried to make a statement, but it failed miserably and his stats dropped lower and lower. Some was due to the injury to starting quarterback Carson Palmer, but then again he wasn’t having huge games before he was injured.
He changed his name, but last season, he didn’t change anything for the good. This year, you can sense some determination.
It’s been stated that Chad Ochocinco is in the best shape since the Bengals’ 2005 season, which was the last time the Bengals made it to the playoffs.
Chad has gained 17 pounds, now weighing 195 compared to last years 178. He’s back to a 4.5 40-yard dash time, which means on the field he’s going to be quicker this year.
A lot of people have criticized him not being at voluntary practice, and Carson has a right to make the statement, but he did it to work out by himself to make himself a better player.
Does that mean he’s making himself better for Cincinnati? No, it may have no affect at all. Chad has seen how much he’s dropped in the public eye, and with him always wanting attention it hurts him.
He’s looking for his ticket to get away from Cincinnati, but he’s got to perform well enough for the Bengals to get anything for him in a trade.
Last season teams were thinking of trading their first round picks, this season they were lucky if they heard a deal for a second round pick in the draft.
Who cares if he’s doing that right now if he’s a Bengals fan? This only means that the younger players are getting more reps in practice to get better and better. If Chad comes in and is better than he ever was, that only helps the team more on the way to the playoffs.
Another great thing you can notice is Chadhasn’t been in many if any interviews this offseason. He’s been focusing on walking the walk, because when he did all his talking nothing good came out of it. Maybe he’s finally reached the point to shut up and play.
Touchdown celebrations can be funny and entertaining, but I want to see him catch 10 touchdown passes before he does his next celebration. Chad hasn’t been in the news for his ankle injury he was suffering in last year’s offseason. Supposedly it has fully healed and he’s injury free coming into mandatory workouts.
There is no telling if Chad will be amazing this season, or if he’ll stink it up, but coming towards the end of the off-season he shows good signs that he will be better physically.
The next challenge he needs to achieve is catching the ball. Once the best hands in the league, last season and even the season before that he just wasn’t the same Chad.
Without T.J Houshmandzadeh being their clutch receiver, Palmer needs someone he can trust to catch the ball in a third and long situation. He needs to work to be a threat down the field, and everywhere else, because the Bengals are young in their receiving core.
The best view of this is that Chad is trying to get better; he’s not shooting his mouth off. I hope he can get the rest of his act together, because he could be a key player in the Bengals making the playoffs this season.