Former New England Patriots WR Chad Johnson, the artist formerly known as Ochocinco, joined Fox Sports 1 to discuss his time with the Patriots and compares his time to the movie Full Metal Jacket.
“Let me tell you what scared me as a player,” Johnson says. “First day, you know, team meeting, everybody coming in, everybody getting in. And Belichick puts on, you know first day, no greeting, nothing, he puts on the loss to the Jets in the playoffs or something when they went home early. And he puts it on and rips into Tom.
“First meeting, no practice, like everybody and he’s going on and he’s at Tom’s head. And I’m like, ‘Is this a joke? Are we being punk’d?’ Because, from my understanding, as a coach you don’t chastise your quarterback and you definitely don’t do it in front of everybody.
“And he laid his you know what out and I’m like, ‘Oh my god. Oh my god.’ And that set the tone right there for me. I was walking on eggshells from that point on.”
This story shouldn’t surprise anyone that has followed the Patriots. Belichick is famous for ripping into Brady in front of everybody and Brady embraces it because it sparks the fire in him to get better every day. Belichick knows how to ignite Brady’s passion and a little public spat goes a long way for Tom (as sick and twisted as that sounds).
Shannon Sharpe suggested that this interaction sent a message to the whole team that meant every single player on the team was up for criticism (which I believe is true). Skip Bayless questioned if Belichick spoke with Brady before the meeting to give a heads up on what was coming (a conversation I believe isn’t necessary at this stage in their careers).
“I doubt it,” Johnson says to Skip. “Because in practice different altercations would happen. And it helped me understand why they’re so great year in and year out. When I was there, head coach in Houston [Bill O’Brien] they expected so much and everything had to be HERE at all times,” Johnson raised his hand above his head.
“You mess up a play, let’s run it again,” Johnson continues. “Mess up again, let’s run it again. Like everything was perfect, like, remember Full Metal Jacket? Remember the beginning of Full Metal Jacket? That’s what it’s like being there, everything is on point, and Bill is that drill sergeant.”
We can’t link directly to the video because of some serious NSFW language, but if you search for the “opening scene of Full Metal Jacket” I’m sure it will show up on the internet.
Just the fact that Johnson compared Belichick to that drill sergeant is insane, but I think this interview reveals more about Marvin Lewis and the Bengals (Johnson’s former team) than anything else.
Johnson had apparently never seen Lewis critique his quarterback and he seems surprised at the desire for perfection in practice. I think that just shows the different management styles of head coaches in the NFL.
Lewis is the 2nd longest tenured head coach in the NFL- 2nd only to Belichick- but perhaps he just lacks the je ne sais quoi to help his team turn the corner and find success in the postseason.