Chad Johnson talks Dolphins, name, Evelyn
July, 25, 2012
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
AP Photo/J Pat CarterChad Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins in June after being cut by New England.You never can tell for sure whether Chad Johnson -- yes, he's Johnson, not Ochocinco anymore -- is serious or joking.
But these days, he sounds pretty serious.
"Things are great for me. Frankly, it's never really gone bad for me, ever since 1978," said Johnson, who was born in that year. "It's all beautiful."
And he's probably right.
The 34-year-old wide receiver, who struggled last season with the New England Patriots after nine years in Cincinnati, last month signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. Just a few weeks ago, he married reality star Evelyn Lozada, and this week he signed a marketing deal with Zico coconut water company.
Playbook had a few minutes to talk with Johnson about training camp, his new marriage and his name.
Congratulations, honeymooner. How is it going with Evelyn?
“Things are no different, other than doing the TV show.” (Note: VH1 will start broadcasting their reality show, a spinoff of "Basketball Wives," in September. Originally called "Ev and Ocho," it'll be interesting if they change the name.)
What does playing in your hometown of Miami mean for you?
“It’s going to be fun. It’s great for me. For 11 years, I always was in another city. It’s good to be home. I wasn’t able to see my kids as often as I would like. I will get to see them playing in the yard. I will be able to wake up and take them to school and pick them up.”
How happy are you to be with the Dolphins?
“Everything I learned about football, I learned from the Miami Dolphins. They were always my favorite since I grew up here. I’m just glad to be a part of this. I’m refocused and locked in and ready to get back to the old me.”
And that means your name also, right?
"I'm just doing it for the marriage. It has nothing to do with football. Ochocinco is still in me. It's just my middle name."
Tell me about your Zico deal.
“The funny thing is I’ve always been drinking coconut water. With the bad way I eat, it helps balance things out for me.”
And what will people be calling you this fall, Johnson or Ochocinco?
“They can call me whatever they want. I'm just ready to start playing football. I’ve been preparing judiciously. I can’t wait for it to start."