Posted: 5:30 a.m.
It's gotten to the point where Wednesday the New York media asked Chad Johnson what had been reported about him lately. They asked him, tongue in cheek, if he was going to get traded.
"Where am I going?" Johnson asked.
"How about the Jets?" someone asked.
"That would be cool," he said. "Spice up the Big Apple."
Johnson won't be doing that here until the Bengals win. On his conference call with the Jets media, he told them, "I would love to, but Marvin (Lewis) would probably take my entire paycheck for this week. You know I would have so much to say if we were on the right track. I can't touch it until we get things rolling over here."
He did shock the Cincinnati media by allowing that he feels, "I'm playing horrible."
"I'm not?" he asked one of the surprised.
Told maybe it was more like he had good moments and bad moments, Johnson said, "I'm not supposed to have bad moments. Does Kobe have any bad moments? Did Michael Jordan have any bad moments? I need to be Jordan around here. Seriously, I think it would help."
"I want to contribute," Johnson said. "That's why people misunderstand what they see on TV (when I get upset). I've got passion and will to win. I don't want (the losing) to creep back in here like it was 12, 13 years ago or however long ago it was. You have to understand how I am about the game."
Quarterback Carson Palmer said he didn't think anybody was playing well on offense.
"I wouldn't say he's played horribly. He definitely hasn't played his best football, along with me," Palmer said. "I haven't played my best football. He's hard on himself, I'm extremely hard on him.
"Today we had a certain emphasis on one thing, and he couldn't have been any better about what he did on those certain plays. I'm not going to go into exactly what it was. He's so easy to coach from teammate to teammate, and he's so good at coaching me: 'Hey, it's hard to catch a low ball on a crossing route, you need to put the ball out in front of us.' "
Thanks to those angry TV shots, the rest of the country is now interested in Johnson's relationship with his quarterback.
"We never go at it. You can't mistake emotion and passion for the game," Johnson reiterated to the New York media. "We like to be perfect in everything that we do. When it isn't right, he jumps on my (rear end). When he isn't right, I jump on his. We have a relationship that is so different from any other quarterback and receiver tandem in the league that me sitting here and explaining it to you, you wouldn't understand anyway. It is something that he and I do to keep us at the top of our game.
"That is why the numbers are what they are. I can't get what I do done without him and he can't get what he has to do without me. We want to be perfect every time that we touch the field."
Johnson was also asked if he thought he and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are the best receiving tandem in the league.
"We are very good at what we do. We need to continue to put together multiple years, maybe two or three consistent years," Johnson said. "Then I will say, 'We have done this a couple years straight and we are the best at it.' "
Johnson was certainly upbeat in both markets. He told New York, "Everybody is smiling. Everybody is ready and focused. We had a great practice just now. We just got out. We are practicing hard like we are 4-0. We are doing what we need to do to get this thing turned around."
But he couldn't help one gag in Cincinnati. When asked about the Jets' No. 1 pick, cornerback Darrelle Revis, he asked, "Who? You mean Revis and Kathy Lee?"