Hobson's Choice is now on both sides of the ball.
With this interview with Bengals veteran right end Michael Johnson, we begin to offer a podcast as another feature for Bengals.com to go along with a readers' mailbag.
We'll make the choice who to interview and whether they are a Bengals player or coach or alumni, or someone else from the world of the NFL, we'll give them the choice of steering the conversation anywhere they want in what we hope offers more than a glimpse off the field and behind the stats.
Johnson is a good place to start since he can talk about pretty much anything, ranging from his appearance with President Barack Obama on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to his role in new defensive line coach Jacob Burney's defensive line rotation. As one of the more active Bengals in Cincinnati and in his hometown of Selma, Ala., Johnson tells why community service is needed and necessary.
A few highlights:
On being one of the V.I.Ps. for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march who walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Obama:
"It was big just to be a part of that. Especially being my mother was part of the original march . . . It got a lot of media attention. Back then they didn't have Instagram, Twitter and all that. This is one of the first times that people really got to see on the global stage what was going on in America."
On his community involvement:
"I feel like a lot has gotten better, but there is still a lot more that can be changed. Just like segregation and racism has been taught and passed down we're not born like that we have to teach togetherness and reaching back and helping one another and a pay it forward attitude. That's what I try to talk to the kids about. I've been helped out by so many people that have poured into me. The only way I know to thank them is to go forth and do my best and reach back and help somebody else."
On his defense and the Bengals making another run in 2016:
"We can be even better. There's sour taste in your mouth on how things went, but I think after watching the playoffs and those defenses perform, we feel like we're just as good as or better than any of them. .. I think we'll be a much stronger team mentally this year because we're actually thinking about it. It's been in conversation."
A LOOK THROUGH BENGALS.COM CLIPS:
JOHNSONS STILL MARCHING (March 20, 2015)
HELPING OF HOPE (Nov. 27, 2013)
JOHNSON WRITING HIS OWN ESSAY (Nov. 28, 2012)