Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Ocho Cinco has 'all the time in the world' to talk
Ocho Cinco seemed to thoroughly enjoy his session with the New York media today.
And vice versa.
Click below for the transcript from the Giants.Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chad Ocho Cinco (formerly Johnson)
Conference call Wednesday, September 17, 2008
How about the emotional strain dealing with two very rough losses to start the season?
It is hard, it is hard, but there is no substitute for what is going on right now except getting out there and working hard, that is the only thing we can do. They were two tough losses. Baltimore had an answer to some of the things that we do very well. I am sure we will adjust that the next time we play them, and it is no excuse, but the weather conditions man, 75 miles per hour was horrible, horrible when we played against Tennessee. We have had some adversity, but I think we will be fine come this weekend.
What is the best way to get a passing game on track after having such difficulties?
Start with the quick stuff, start with the quick stuff; slants, outs, that is what I would say, but I am not sure we would start that way. We would continue to do what we normally do. We havent been able to throw the ball last week due to the conditions, but depending on how it is in New York, I think we may be the offense of old.
What can you do to take advantage of playing young cornerbacks like Aaron Ross and Corey Webster?
I would say it wouldnt be taking advantage of them. We are talking about two of the top guys in the NFL with Corey and Aaron. I have watched a lot of film on them, I looked at a lot of things that they do, and they have played very well within the scheme of what the Giants do defensively. Aaron is very good, Corey is very good, I have seen them play against some of the other top guys in the NFL before and they have held their own. I am just looking as far as us and myself I have to be consistent with what I do and be sharp in and out of my breaks. That is it.
Is this a must-win game in Week Three?
I hate to do that and I hate to say that, but it is a must-win. It is, it is. We, as a team, we dont have the time or the room to put ourselves in a hole, a 0-2 hole, you understand? We need to hit the ground running, which is the way we wanted to start, but if we dont start that way, this would be the week we need to climb out of that hole.
Your head coach said you are a different person than the one that was unhappy the past two years. Can you expand on that?
It is funny, I like the way you said it, but if you think I have really never really been a distraction. You guys know me. I am all about having fun. My only problems my entire career has been this past offseason. That is the only part that it might have been a distraction. One of the things is that I am so passionate, so hungry about this game and about winning and that might be what he is talking about. I have been known to blow up. I am not going to lie, I have been known to blow up when stuff is not going right because I get f---ing pissed when we are not winning or I am not able to be a part of what we have going on. I think this year, I wouldnt say I have grown up because I am a lot more patient for what we have going on, I have wanted to do some of the things that I felt older guys who get looked up to do and I am just going to let things go the way they go.
How much is that maturity being tested now after the difficult start?
Oh my goodness, you dont understand how bad I had to hold my tongue after this game. It is who I am, it is the way I am, I had to hold my tongue so bad, but I am doing my best to keep quiet and be a professional like everybody likes to say and just go out and do my job. When my opportunities come, whether they are a lot or whether they are few, I have to make the most of them.
What about all those old jerseys with your name on them, are you going to buy them up?
I dont think my financial advisor would allow me to do that. I am not sure why Reebok is holding back and really allowing me to do that because whatever the cost of the jersey is now I think they would make three times that, especially with the production that I would put up as the season goes on. I have a lot of fans, not just here in the states, but all over, so it would cover whatever. I am not sure who the top dog is at Reebok, but an idea like this is how you stay ahead of the competition.
How did your family react when you changed your last name?
What do you expect? That is what they said, that is what my grandma said, and that is what my momma said. They didnt expect anything else. It shouldnt be any surprise, especially something like that.
Is there a shortened version of why you wanted to change your name?
No, no, not at all, there is no shortened version, just fun. Has it ever been done before?
Oh okay, I guess that will work.
Would you ever consider changing it back?
I dont think so. I think right now it was for the season and the NFL, actually maybe Reebok, is really putting a hamper on my plans of having fun so I think I might just stick with it.
Are you upset that they wont let you put it on your jersey?
Hey, it is their money, they are losing out.
Would you have been better off playing in New York?
Come on, man. Why are you trying to bait me into that? Dont get me in any more trouble than I have already been in.
Do you plan your celebrations accordingly when coming to play on a big stage like New York?
Yeah, there wont be any celebrating right now. If I score, I will probably be handing the ball to the ref and going to the sideline and getting ready to see what we are going to do next. I have no room to do any celebrating, you guys know that.
There have been a number of incidents in past years yet you maintain that you dont feel like you have been a distraction and are taking away from your teammates and coaches?
I dont think so. You think I am that bad with all the stuff that goes on in the NFL?
You have been in the news a lot in your career?
For what? I havent been in any trouble. I have been in the news for what? I mean, hey, I have all the time in the world, lets talk. What have I been in the news for? Think about it. I dont get in trouble, no DUIs, no arrests, no nothing; I get in trouble for celebrating in the damn end zone, that is it. What else? Carson and I talking off the field in the New England game, okay, that is one thing in seven years. That is pretty god damned good.
You think your personality is ?
My personality will never change. That is what makes me me, so that aint going nowhere.
Didnt something happen at halftime in the playoff game a few years ago?
I just told you that. Okay, that is two things in seven years. That is not that bad.
Danny Clark said his family enjoys watching you and feels that you are good for the NFL. Do you hear that from a lot of fellow NFL players?
I hear it from everybody. I hear it everywhere I go. Everywhere I go. I had a trip to Europe two years ago, a trip to Africa two years ago. How in the world do they know who 85 is all the way in London? How do they know who 85 is all the way in Africa? It aint by lining up and catching balls, I know that. I dont think in Europe they are watching the Cincinnati Bengals in Africa and London. There is a reason why they do know. It is about the fun that I do have and the excitement that I bring to the game.
What would happen if next offseason the Bengals were to trade you where an established player already wears the number 85?
I dont know. The only established 85 I know in the NFL is Antonio Gates.
If you were traded to San Diego would you make him an offer he cant refuse for his number?
I dont know, I dont know.
Did you have a conversation with Marvin Lewis that helped you before this season?
No, it wasnt Coach Lewis. The thing that helped me through was Ray Lewis. Man, Ray Lewis and Deion Sanders, those two are probably the most influential people at that time when stuff was going bad and I was frustrated.
Isnt it enough just to be a great player at your position and get noticed for what you do on the field?
That is too easy. That is what everybody has done, that is what everybody has done while the NFL has been existing. Great players go out there and have fun, but I am going to have fun my way. Is that okay?
Some people might say that it makes you seem like you are bigger than the game?
No. I am sure that is probably how you would look at it, but established people that I talk to love what I do and I do it my way and I do it at a high level.
How do you use this personality on the field during the game? Do you use it at all against your opponents?
Sometimes, sometimes. I mean right now not myself and my team I am really not in the position to do some of the things that I would normally do. I am just approaching games quietly and just going out there and doing what I need to do until we as a team get rolling and things get fun around here.
When you use that on the field do you just throw a joke or a one-liner out there to throw the other guy off guard? Is that how it works?
Sometimes, sometimes, you never know.
What did Ray Lewis tell you that helped you along so much?
The whole thing, the whole talk with Ray, was about understanding the position that I am in. Understanding the blessings and just how much of a blessing it is to even be in the NFL. Thinking about the millions of people that wish they were in your shoes. He had me thinking that you are one play away from injury and from this really being over. He had me taking into account all the reasons why I am able to be where I am and had me thinking like that. He talked to me about his losing seasons in Baltimore and what he did to turn it around. He just had me looking at it from his perspective and had me put myself in his shoes and got me right back on track and understanding what a privilege it is, whether we are losing or not, to be in the NFL. It kind of flipped me around and I am here, I am ready to rock.