Updated: 10:45 p.m.
Johnson"I'm coming Home to Exhale."
Chad Johnson calls this a "very hurtful year" for himself, but his first game in Miami since the 1996 Miami Beach High finale could be where he ends his celebration ban if he gets into the end zone.
He's bought 120 tickets in the same place at Dolphin Stadium, but he can't remember the section number.
"It's the one with all the No. 85 jerseys," Johnson said.
But he wouldn't give the Miami media any more hints in Wednesday's conference call.
"I wish our situation was better and we were in the playoffs, but it's not," Johnson said. "So why not come home and entertain the home (folks)? ... When you exhale, you let it all out."
And Johnson let some of it all out for his hometown media. He didn't say he wants out of Bengaldom, which is the opinion of some media people in Cincinnati, but he allowed he's "fed up" with the same results.
"Every year I sit back and say, 'Maybe next year,' but as time continues to tick on and as I get older, I don't always have that next year. I need to win now," Johnson said. "I've broken a lot of records here. I've got the yards. I've been to the Pro Bowl. And I'm kind of fed up. It's the same thing every year. I want to go to the playoffs. I want to see how it feels to win consistently. It's something I've been yearning for."
Johnson, who hasn't talked to the local media in 65 days, says the passion with which he plays has been turned back on him as criticism because the Bengals are losing.
"Now I'm the bad guy because I want to win so badly," Johnson said. "So I'm the reason why we're losing. It's been a very hurtful year for me because all I want to do is win. People have taken the way I play the game and approach the game as a negative and try to twist why we're not being successful."
Johnson pointed to last week's clash of Chargers between LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers.
"They say, 'Those are two players trying to correct the play.' Then when Carson (Palmer) and I do it, we're fussing at each other," Johnson said. "What makes those two any different than us? It's the same situation. But because we're losing, they turn it into a negative."
Even though he's got a contract through 2011, Johnson was asked what the future holds for next year and beyond, and if he could ever see himself playing for the Dolphins.
"Hey, that would be cool. Where's (Bill) Parcells at?" Johnson joked. "I'm not sure what the future holds."
Johnson has high regard, of course, for Parcells, saying he has heard good things about him from cousin Keyshawn Johnson.
"He's going to turn that ballclub around. It's going to be an interesting four years while he's there," Chad said, but he's really impressed by Parcells' old team, the 15-0 Patriots.
"They're going to win; c'mon," Johnson said of Saturday against the Giants. "They're going to play to win. Believe me. (Bill) Belichick is going for that record and I think he's proven a point that that spycam thing had nothing to do with it. If I was him I would be doing the same thing, running up the score like he did a couple of games. Just to prove a point to people that it had nothing to do with our success in the past or our success now."
Johnson on Randy Moss' 21 receiving TDs: "Ridiculous. You've got Wes Welker, who'll kill you. You've got (Donte) Stallworth who'll kill you and you've Randy who'll kill you. What do you do? It doesn't matter who you take away. One week Moss goes off, they double him the next week and Wes Welker kills them. The next week, they double Moss, they double Welker, then Donte Stallworth kills you. You stop all of them, they go to the running game. You can't win for losing when you play them because everyone is playing so well."
With 1,309 yards Johnson needs 124 to break his best of 1,432 and he goes in 115 shy of the Colts' Reggie Wayne for his fifth straight AFC receiving yards title and second straight NFL receiving yards championship. But he also has scored in just three games and has only three 100-yard games.
"There's nothing I can do about that. I can only make the most of my opportunities when the ball comes. That's all I can do," he said. "I've never been a person that puts up a lot of touchdowns anyway. I think the most I've ever had was 10 and that was in '03.
"We have so many weapons here ... and you guys have to understand my situation, I'm double- and triple-teamed almost every single play. ... I probably brought that on myself with some of the stuff that I do once I get in the end zone with teams not wanting to deal with that."
He can see into the future four days and he sees the gaggle of friends and relatives that are going to be able to see him play for the first time. He says his grandmother that raised him will see him for the first time in the pros. His mother for just the third time. Church friends. Pastors. His coaches from the Liberty City Optimists.
"I'm coming home," he said.