DPD Exclusive: Chad Johnson talks about role with Cleveland Browns

Jun 7, 2016; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) runs a drill during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2016; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) runs a drill during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson spoke with Dawg Pound Daily about his new role with the Cleveland Browns.

Chad Johnson made news on Monday when he sent out a tweet expressing his interest in joining the Cleveland Browns as a coach in training camp.

Cleveland.com got a confirmation from the Browns that Johnson would indeed be in camp working with the wide receivers after Johnson sent out a tweet earlier today about joining the team:

The six-time Pro Bowler confirmed that he will be in Berea for training camp in an exclusive interview with Dawg Pound Daily.

Johnson expressed his excitement in joining the staff and explained how he wants to come in and “hone in on the receivers and help with the route-running.”

During his 11-year NFL career Johnson was known as one of the greatest route-runners of all-time, and should be able to share that knowledge with the young group in town.

“Everyone coming into the league now is the finished product,” Johnson said. “I want to come in and provide my two cents on why I was successful.”

Johnson explained how there is no timetable for his role with the Browns, so it seems like he will join the staff in a similar capacity to Earnest Byner, who worked with the running backs last month during OTAs and minicamp.

Johnson’s tweet from Monday seemed to be informal, but it ultimately got him a gig in Cleveland. He said he has talked with head coach Hue Jackson about the possibility before and how he has always wanted to coach.

His best years came under Jackson, who was the Bengals wide receivers coach from 2004 to 2006. During that time period, Johnson was a two-time First Team All-Pro selection while averaging 93 receptions, 1,358 yards and eight touchdowns.

“Hue is able to get the most out of his players,” Johnson said. “He allowed me to see the game in a way I had never seen it before.”

While Johnson acknowledged that the NFL game is faster than in college, he said that Jackson was able to slow the game down for his players.

“I want to get the young players to see the game the way I saw it,” Johnson explained, “and get it instilled in them early.”

The Browns selected four wide receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft, meaning the veterans have to work that much harder to keep their jobs, something that Johnson said he would welcome, as the NFL is about “being consistent day in and day out.”

Johnson last played in the NFL in 2011 as a member of the New England Patriots, but Browns fans remember him well from his 10 years as a member of the Bengals. In 19 career games against the Browns, Johnson had 87 receptions for 1,238 yards and 11 touchdowns.

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He recalled how much he respected Browns fans during his tenure in Cincinnati, and while players are expected to hate a rival team, he always loved the atmosphere in Cleveland, especially the Dawg Pound, where he made a few leaps of his own.

When asked which wide receiver he is most excited to work with, Johnson said he wants to work with every player and “see them up close.”

“I want to get there and understand each person’s makeup,” Johnson said. “I want to understand what they can and can’t do and they need to understand that as well.”

Johnson is joining the Browns at an exciting time for the franchise. The front office committed to an overhaul of the wide receiver position, so he has an opportunity to come in and help mold these former college stars into successful NFL players. His message should easily get across as these players grew up watching Johnson torch opposing cornerbacks throughout his career.

Johnson joins an offensive staff led by Jackson, along with Pep Hamilton and Al Saunders, and this opportunity, even if only for training camp, can help him launch his career as a coach in the NFL.

Even though training camp is still a few weeks away, Johnson is eager to get to work and “help the receivers with their game and their craft.”

Few Browns fans may have ever thought someone like Johnson would end up being a coach in Cleveland, but it is hard to argue against his knowledge of the game or how easily he dominated opposing defenses throughout his career.

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Once he takes the practice field Johnson said he is going to “purposely wear cleats” so he can keep defenders like Joe Haden and Tramon Williams in check.

Training camp is going to be fun in 2016.