1-7-04, 5:15 p.m.
Bengals Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson took a timeout as he prepares to celebrate his 26th birthday Friday in his hometown of Miami to take five questions from Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
GH: You've got to be the only Pro Bowl player alive who is living in his grandmother's house during the offseason. What was your reaction when you heard you're going to be starting the game for the AFC with Marvin Harrison?
CJ: I live a simple life. That's why I live right next to the stadium back in Cincinnati. I didn't really have a reaction. Just the same thing. It's a reward for the hard work. The one thing I'm going to do when I get to Hawaii is look for a house. I know I'm going to be going over there every February from now on, so I might as well buy a place and stay over for a couple of weeks around the Pro Bowl. Oh yeah. I know I'm going to be playing over there every year. Might as well get the house, then. **
GH: How are you going to celebrate your birthday?**
CJ: I don't know what I'm going to do. I'll probably do what I'm doing today. I spend all day with my kids from about eight to five. I wouldn't call it babysitting. It's being with them and enjoying the time with them.
Chade' is the baby, six months old, and she'll interrupt me when I'm at PlayStation. When she wakes up, I give her her bottle, and then we'll play. I'll wear her out and she'll go back to sleep. She's at the stage where she's real active, and is crawling after everything.
At 2 o'clock I pick up my five-year-old at school. Jicyra likes to eat at McDonald's
just like me, so we go there every day after I pick her up. She gets the Happy Meal with Chicken McNuggets, and you know I'm keeping with my steady McDonald's diet. Two cheeseburgers, regular fries, and a Coke.
Then we go back to the house and they leave about 5. I don't do much after that. I'm at the PlayStation 24 and 7, and it's just chilling out with my homeys. I don't feel 26. I feel 18. When I'm 40, I'll feel like 26. **
GH: Marvin let it be known that teams are going to see on film what defenses did to take you out of two of the last four games. Are you ready for that constant double teaming and bracketing?**
CJ: That's not going to work. It doesn't matter what you do defensively, because, in the end, you can't cover me. All you need is an offensive scheme to allow me to take advantage of what they're doing defensively. It's all game planning. Brat (offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski) will come up with something and it won't have to be much.
When they bracket me (double team with a man in front and a man in back) I don't even worry about that first guy . I focus on that second guy, and all you have to do is put in some double moves and I'm by him. I run everything off the second man. They can keep trying to bracket me, but I just don't see it working over a long period of time. **
GH: Are you going to do anything differently to train in the offseason?**
CJ: No. Same thing. I'm going to be back there March 22 and hook up with my guys, Chip and Kurtis (strength and conditioning coaches). I know my numbers are going to escalate. How can they not? Last year it was 1,100 (yards). This year it was 1,300. Next year, you know I'm going for that 1,800. I was really disappointed I didn't get it this year. Brat is the guy who has really helped me so much from Day One, and with him coming back, I just think we're all going to get better with the little things. I just don't think 1,900 is out of the question, either. You have to set the bar high. I think I've set a high standard, and the only way to reach it is to work hard at it. **
GH: Who do you like in the Super Bowl?**
CJ: I'd like to see (Donovan) McNabb or (Steve) McNair win one. I'd like to see that. We're due for a change in the Super Bowl, a different kind of team in there. McNair and McNabb are such great players and they've been so close to winning it and getting there that I would like to see one of them end up with the ring this time around.