Former New England Patriots wide-receiver Chad Johnson (then Ochocinco), made his first public comments about his experiences as a member of the Patriots today when he told the Miami Herald that he felt stifled because he was not allowed to be himself.
"My personality was controlled last year. You didn't hear me at all last year. Zero. Zilch. When my mouth is running, it forces me to perform. It's never been vindictive. I never got anybody in trouble. ... When I can be me, I am loose. Everything just flows for me, whether it's the style of play, the way I learn."
Yes, I'm sure that your inability to run the correct routes or do that whole "catch the ball when it's thrown to you" thing was caused by your not being allowed to rack up excessive celebration penalties. Sigh.
Clearly this is more a case of Johnson trying to convince himself that what happened last year was an aberration, but Chad was much more honest about himself immediately after the Patriots cut him, when he essentially admitted that he never learned the playbook, which kept him off the field.
The reality is that, at 34, Johnson is just not what he was when he was younger. He was still acting like a clown the two seasons before he arrived in New England and both were his worst years since his rookie year. If you're counting at home, that means he's had the three worst years of his career (since his first year) in the last three years. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that going back to elaborate touchdown celebrations won't solve that (not that he'll get there anyway).