These words of advice come from Cincinnati Bengals Pro-Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson and are in reference to his quest for the ultimate exotic sports car, but he could have easily been referring to himself. No. 85 always does it big: the fifth-year Bengal has become as famous for his incredible catches—for big yardage—as he has for his often outlandish but inspiring celebrations in the end zone. Around the NFL, Johnson has developed into a big—and we are talking, No.1—deal.
Few receivers have been able to match Chad’s incredible numbers, especially over the past two seasons. The former Oregon State Beaver glides through hapless zone defenses and lays the type of dam-like blocks that would make any beaver worth his weight in wood proud.
It is far from a secret to any fan not calling the underside of a large rock home for the past decade that the Cincinnati Bengals had the on-field credibility of MTV’s pudgy Andy Milonakis in the “Punt, Pass and Kick Competition” finals. However, as Chad quickly notes, the turnaround has not been as complicated as one might imagine.
“Why are we better? Why are we playing the way are we playing now and have since last season? I got two words for you: [head coach] Marvin Lewis. The man—that one man—just really changed the attitude and direction of this team, and really this entire franchise,” Chad said.
While Chad is quick to credit the coaching change, many NFL insiders place the majority of the Bengals’ positive burden of winning squarely on the shoulders of their young, brash star. To be honest, it is a difficult position with which to argue. Chad’s blend of natural ability, tenacity, and just enough cockiness... err confidence... to keep demanding the ball, have placed him in the category among the league’s most dangerous offensive weapons—a category that includes his cousin, Keyshawn Johnson.