Posted: 5:05 p.m.
JohnsonEven Chad Johnson's good friend Jim Rome seemed surprised Tuesday that Johnson had yet to blow a gasket in the wake of the Bengals' second straight loss.
But Johnson, who has pretty much politely declined comment locally (except for his paid gig on Fox 19) since Sunday's game in Tampa, kept it pretty tame in Rome's Jungle on national radio.
He's also going public on his own web site, chadjohnson85.com, in Tuesday's 8 p.m. chat.
Johnson admitted shock at Sunday's outcome and told Rome the offense isn't playing well in any area and that he'd like more chances. But he also allowed he's not worried about his current numbers and doesn't care if someone else has them but "we're not winning. That's the point."
"I was shocked. How can you have two weeks off to get it right, and come out and play that flat?" Johnson asked of the Bucs loss. "Our defense held them to 14 points. At some point we need to show up in that game and relieve them, and we didn't do it."
After a season-high 99 yards and a season-long catch of 51 yards, Johnson has 300 yards and a touchdown on 24 catches. Last year after five games he had 426 yards on 31 catches and four touchdowns, but he says there are end-zone celebrations on the way.
"I'm probably two celebrations behind; it's only week five," Johnson said. "I do expect to score every week. But I'm two celebrations behind, which I'll probably make up as the season goes on, so I'm not even tripping. It's coming."
Johnson, like everyone else, would like the Bengals to go down the field like they did last season even though he's getting blanketed virtually every snap.
"They're not that far off ... and I was getting doubled and tripled before," Johnson said. "All it is is about opportunity. I would like more opportunities to make plays and based off what they're doing coverage-wise we're staying away from that and other people are making plays. Which is good, but we're still not putting up the kind of points we need to win not only the division but to beat some of the other opponents we're playing this year."
Johnson wouldn't call out the reshuffled offensive line ("I never put it on one particular unit," he said.) and he insisted he and quarterback Carson Palmer are on the same page despite some incompletions that would suggest otherwise.
"Everyone continues to say that we're not. I think we're fine," Johnson said. "We will get where we have to be very soon. We stay after practice and work on whatever we work on. Trust me, we'll be all right."
One of the talking points this week is Johnson's relationship with Panthers receiver Steve Smith, his fellow Pro Bowler and former teammate at Santa Monica Junior College in 1999. They meet Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium as the defending receiving yardage champions of their respective conferences.
"We didn't have a clue," Johnson said of their futures. "We were just two dudes fast as hell running around catching the ball. That's it."
Johnson knows he's sounding all somber, but that's what losing does.
"Stuff isn't going right for us offensively," Johnson said. "I don't think it's time to really show that flavor or that style I have until we're back on track."