Chad Johnson 'First Take' Interview: Watch Steven A. Smith And Skip Bayless Interview Ex-NFL Star About Domestic Dispute and Future In NFL [VIDEO]
After Johnson's arrest, can he come back and still be a key player for an NFL team? (Photo: Broward County Sheriff's Offic / Reuters)
Always a hot topic, Chad Johnson's appearance on ESPN's "First Take," with Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless spurred a varied reaction for viewers on Twitter.
The interview, which was aired at 10 AM EST on ESPN, was with the show's two hosts, Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless, and ex-NFL superstar Chad Johnson. The hosts asked Johnson about everything, from his domestic dispute that cost him his job at Miami, to what went wrong with his stint on the New England Patriots, to his future in the NFL.
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The first question from the hosts wasn't really a question. Smith and Bayless asked Johnson to explain his domestic violence dispute earlier this year. "I messed up. I messed up. Period. I lost everything. Football, my wife, the family I had, over something that didn't really mean anything," Johnson said about his domestic violence dispute with his ex-wife Evelyn Lozada. He also said that he does have a history of domestic disputes, including an incident in Santa Monica College, where Johnson first went to school. However, Johnson added that, since then, he's been attending domestic violence classes and think that his time away from football has helped him see things "more clearly" and that he has matured over that time.
While Johnson looked poised and spoke eloquently, at times, he did seem a bit off-guard by some of the questions. When Steven A. Smith asked him if he can still play. Johnson went on the defensive, saying that, while he can't play like he could when he was 20, he was still capable of playing football at a very high level. "Football is easy...football is easy to me." We don't doubt that, since Johnson has been an elite NFL player for years. But, over the past few seasons, he hasn't played much, as Smith pointed out.
Johnson was also asked about his stint with the New England Patriots. "I don't know what went wrong...I do have a thought in the back of my head...but I won't say it on live TV! For some reason it didn't work...it didn't work with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. I wasn't going to complain or do anything to be a distraction." Johnson looked like he was a little rattled by the attacks from Smith and Bayless, who tried to get Johnson to say some controversial things about his time with New England, and Johnson looked like he was getting a little upset by the hosts' claiming that "First Take" was the correct forum to air his grievances with New England.
It did seem like Johnson's ego has vanished since his incident in Miami. Smith said that he was concerned about "the numbers" that Johnson said he didn't care about anymore, since he always thought Johnson played his best when he was doubted. But, Johnson said, "The numbers don't matter...that comes from play. I have no leverage to come off like that right now... I think a job would suffice...then we'll talk about numbers."
Chad Johnson thinks that he deserves a second chance to play in the NFL, adding that he's never been in trouble beyond getting fines from the league over a barrage of stunts, including post-touchdown celebrations. He had a message for NFL teams, saying, ""Dear NFL teams," Johnson said. "At any point -- maybe not this year, because it's kind of late and I'm still working on myself -- but at any point next year, if you're looking for my services, what am I bringing to the table?... Humility. I'm quiet. And I'm always open."
You can watch clips of the Chad Johnson interview on ESPN's "First Take" with Steven A. Smith and Skip Bayless below.