The Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver, known for his quick feet
and bold predictions, sent each of Cleveland's four defensive backs
a package containing a handwritten note and a bottle of medicine to
settle an upset stomach.
"I think some of the guys are taking it personal," said Browns
cornerback Daylon McCutcheon, who got a good laugh out of Johnson's
gesture. "But I think for the most part, he is not an in-your-face
guy. He just likes to have fun. He enjoys playing football. He's a
At 2-3 and coming off a 34-23 loss to Pittsburgh, the Browns
already are feeling queasy enough about their season. They host
Cincinnati on Sunday and might not find the joke especially funny.
But that wasn't going to stop Johnson, who smiled when asked
about his prank on the Browns. He said he simply wanted to "cure
them of their sickness" and suggested "they're going to get tired
of covering me."
Inside McCutcheon's box, Johnson tossed in a note that said:
"Daylon, Just wanted to add a little color and relief to your
week. All the best, Chad."
Anthony Henry, Robert Griffith and Earl Little also received
FedEx deliveries from Johnson. The fourth-year wideout personalized
each package, signing the notes and including his No. 85 next to
As if the Browns needed the reminder. Two years ago, Johnson
guaranteed a win over Cleveland and nearly backed it up before the
Bengals lost 27-20. Johnson had four catches for 103 yards,
including a 72-yard TD.
Last season, Johnson had the first two-touchdown game of his
career in which the Bengals defeated the Browns 21-14.
This season, Johnson has just one TD catch -- in the season
opener -- but has been double-covered more than before and opposing
secondaries have made sure he doesn't get behind them deep.
Johnson, who led the AFC with 1,355 yards last season, says the
Browns tend to isolate their cornerbacks, and he's hoping they try
to cover him with just one defender.
"I see a lot of man-to-man on all the film I've watched this
year, then every time I get out there, it's something different,"
he said. "Hopefully I will get what I'm seeing on the film and be
able to expose that."
McCutcheon is keeping this whole episode in perspective.
"He's a good guy," McCutcheon said. "We have a good
relationship off the football field. He's a character. He likes to
keep the game fun, and that's the way it should be. It's about
competition, but he likes to express themselves."
So, will McCutcheon be sending anything to Cincinnati the next
few days labeled: Chad Johnson, One Paul Brown Drive, Cincinnati?
"Nah," he said. "I'm just going to go play on Sunday."