Chris Johnson says he admires the antics of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, and just this week asked for fans to send celebration suggestions to try and one-up the controversial stars.
But Johnson, who also publicly announced his “divorce” from Smash and Dash with LenDale White, saying he his nickname is now “Every Coach’s Dream,” insists that whatever he does in terms of drawing attention to himself that he remains a team guy first and foremost for the Tennessee Titans.
“They’re entertainers. I love those guys. I love Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. That inspires me,” Johnson said. “I’m a team guy first. When I mentioned I wanted a divorce from Smash and Dash, I never said I didn’t want to be teamed up with LenDale no more and do the things that we did, it was just the nickname.”
Johnson said that what some might not realize was that the whole ordeal was an inside joke to try and lighten the mood during the normally moribund off-season time.
“For me to say that I don’t want to be part of a nickname, then it’s ridiculous,” Johnson said. “The big thing is that when we all Twitter, me and LenDale are right next to each other doing Twitter. So it’s nothing but a big joke.”
Johnson pointed out that he, White and Coach Jeff Fisher were all smiling and smirking the whole time the Smash and Dash saga was playing out this week.
Still, Johnson has drawn attention to himself on several occasions, thanks to his confident _ some would say cocky _ approach at times. There was his bongo drum celebration in Kansas City that drew a hefty fine, plus his insistence that he felt he should have been Rookie of the Year last year, and then the latest deal with the celebration suggestions and the Smash and Dash hoax.
“I don’t worry about that, because at the end of the day, when you’re making plays, as long as you go out there, my specific words were that I’m trying to find a celebration where I won’t get penalized. So if I’m not getting penalized it won’t be a distraction,” Johnson said.
Fisher won’t let such a distraction come in front of team goals, he said.
“It’s all discussed, and I think he just got caught in a playful mood. It’s not going to hurt the team, and I’m not concerned about it. He’s a good football player,” Fisher said. “That won’t happen. If there’s speculation, it’s speculation that takes place outside the building.”
As far as the solicitations go, Johnson said that while he wants to top Ochocinco and Owens, he doesn’t want to draw a 15-yard penalty and Fisher’s ire that would accompany it.
“I’ve gotten some good suggestions,” Johnson said. “Coach Fish doesn’t want us to get a penalty and hurt the team, so being a team guy, so as long as the things I come up with don’t get a penalty, it’s all good.”
Linebacker Keith Bulluck, who has been outspoken a few times himself, said it’s a fine line players walk between extreme confidence and comments or antics that might be inflammatory, a distraction or penalize the team.
“Right now, it’s all talk. It’s the off-season and everybody’s just having fun and in good spirits,” Bulluck said. “Right now, it’s all talk, but that stuff definitely won’t be a distraction. We have enough vets on this team that have played this game long enough and understand what this team can do for those little silly things to become a distraction. Right now, it’s just entertainment.”
And Johnson insists that that is all it is for him as well.
“It’s entertainment and I like entertainment,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to be boring, and I felt the thing that was in the media yesterday was entertainment. So, it was fun. I’m an entertainer, and that’s why I need some celebrations.”