Chad Johnson's Quiet Debut with Montreal Alouettes Foreshadows Future with Team

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIJune 21, 2014

MIAMI, FL - MAY 24:  Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson watches the Miami Heat play against the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 24, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It's been a full two seasons since we've seen wide receiver Chad Johnson in uniform.

On Friday, he finally made his debut with the Montreal Alouettes after signing with the team two months prior.

Some things have changed for Johnson; his new scenery brings with it rule changes, new schemes and a field much longer and wider than what he's been used to throughout his career.

Other things are still the same.

Johnson still wears No. 85 and has plenty of enthusiasm for the game; however, he also continues to show his age.

That was all apparent during his one-catch performance on Friday.

No. 85 lined up outside and appeared rather slow off the line of scrimmage, only able to separate from the secondary due to other wide receivers' clearing routes. He did record a catch, but his sloppy footwork led to a slip-up and a gain of just 13 yards.

Here's a look at his catch:

Johnson, now 36 years of age, doesn't quite have the acceleration and quickness that made him a star while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. However, that fact was well on display once the wide receiver was traded to the New England Patriots.

While in New England, Johnson struggled with Bill Belichick's system, and his numbers took a drastic slide as a result.

MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 20:  Seth Williams #23 of the Ottawa Redblacks tackles Chad Johnson #85 of the Montreal Alouettes during the CFL game at Percival Molson Stadium on June 20, 2014 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Redblacks defeated the Alouettes 26-10.
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Just two years removed from a 1,000-yard season, Johnson recorded just 15 receptions for 276 yards and one score with the Patriots in 2011.

Expect more of the same from Johnson with the Alouettes this season.

Against a bevy of talent in the Canadian Football League, Johnson not only has to deal with his deteriorating abilities on the football field, but he must learn a completely new system—and the league's rules—and find a rapport with his quarterback, former Heisman winner Troy Smith.

That's no easy feat.

Still, Johnson remains excited and optimistic for his opportunity to continue playing football. The wide received conveyed his interesting thoughts during an interview with Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette:

"It's similar to the feeling before I lost my virginity. There's a certain level of excitement, anticipation—not knowing what’s going to happen or what I'm going to get."

Johnson may be excited, but don't expect a bounce-back year from the aging wide receiver. He'll serve the team better in terms of ticket sales rather than on-field production.


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