Updated: 1-3-07, 4:10 p.m.
JohnsonHey, someone keep Joe Willie Namath away from Chad Ocho Johnson.
Johnson's stint as an analyst for NFL Network has been scrubbed this week because of a scheduling conflict, but it could happen later in the playoffs. Dolphins defensive end Kevin Carter takes his place in Seattle for Saturday's NFC Wild Card game pitting the Cowboys against the Seahawks.
Johnson had said he's going to be working the sidelines "the same way Suzy Kobler does it," for ESPN in providing postgame analysis and locker-room interviews for NFL GameDay.
"I think it will be easy," Johnson said. "I'm going to watch the game and talk about what I saw. It's like watching film. It will be fun. I'm trying to sign up so I can do four games including the Super Bowl."
Johnson didn't have much of a reaction about head coach Marvin Lewis' plan to be more disciplined.
"I don't think it really affects me because I do what I'm supposed to do," Johnson said. "How do you say it? A disciplinarian? A disciplinarian can be a positive or a negative. Look at the coach of the Giants (Tom Coughlin). He's too strict, right? So it can work either way."
Lewis says his players want to make sure that he doesn't have a double standard for Johnson, but he also said he felt like Johnson's game improved with his demeanor as the year went on.
"After we got through the Mohawk thing, and the Degree checklist thing, and Ocho 'Psycho' and all that stuff, we were good," Lewis said. "And you know what? Things went up, and that's the thing. Obviously you guys don't see other things, and he's just got to make sure that all the time he's being the right guy for his teammates. And I think that's important to them. And it's important to them that I don't have a double standard for Chad."
One of Johnson's biggest fans is Pro Bowl right tackle Willie Anderson. Anderson was one of the more vociferous voices when it came to selfishness in the postgame locker room Sunday, but it wasn't Johnson he had in mind.
"I'm not talking about Chad. We need more guys with his tough mindset," Anderson said. "You should see how this guy practices. Sundays are easy. It's the practices that wear down your body and those receivers never take a play off in practice and the way (receivers coach) Hue Jackson wants them to practice it's full speed every play. You see Hue get right in Chad's face and he's not getting any favors.
"And he practiced with a hurt ankle, a hurt knee, a hurt shoulder and he's out there diving for balls. That's not selfish. He can dance, do whatever he wants because when it comes to being a football player, he's what you want. I've called him Ocho ever since he got 260 yards (after he put Ocho Cinco on the back of his jersey). When he's Ocho, he put up 260, so that's what I call him."
On a more somber note, Johnson had been ready to wear in Seattle the jersey of late Broncos corneback Darrent Williams, killed early New Year's Day in a drive-by shooting barely a week after he intercepted a pass against the Bengals.
"I think it'd be nice to wear it on the sidelines," he said.
SLANTS AND SCREENS
If anyone is looking for any Marvin Lewis guys on the market, Donnie Henderson got fired Tuesday in Detroit as the Lions defensive coordinator. Henderson worked under Lewis in Baltimore for three seasons and the word is Ravens head coach Brian Billick didn't want him going to Cincinnati with Lewis in 2003. Lewis indicated he's keeping all three of his coordinators.
Lewis said Tuesday the only player who won't be available right away when on-field stuff starts is running back Chris Perry (broken leg). Perry has already missed the last two spring camps, first with a sports hernia and last year with a rehabbing ankle and knee.
Lewis said linebacker David Pollack (broken neck) is to have what many feel is career-ending surgery "soon," but Lewis won't say that: "I think it'll be twofold. It will first be, what actual surgery is done, and what the surgeon feels about repairs that are needed. From that, David will have to make a decision on what is in his future as far as football."