Hue Jackson’s war on analytics just got real: In perhaps his biggest eff-you to the Browns’ Moneyball nerds yet, the team’s new head coach has invited Chad Johnson — nobody’s idea of a sabermetrician — to training camp to tutor Cleveland’s inexperienced receiving corps, which consists of Terrelle Pryor, some short guys, and a bunch of rookies. If anyone could use a remedial lesson in Wide Receiving 101, it’s these guys. But what will professor Johnson’s curriculum look like? Let’s speculate:
Taunting 101: How to Evaluate Defensive Backs Using a Checklist
Lists are an easy way to boost personal accountability, but this sort of list— which Johnson employed to great effect in 2005, when he called out defensive backs in his “Who covered 85 in 2005” checklist— doubles as an effective taunting measure. Even Marvin Lewis came to begrudgingly support Johnson’s list, and Jackson spent seven years coaching under Lewis, so you know he’d appreciate this lesson.
Excessive Celebrations for Beginners
I’m guessing Jackson will realize he’s made a terrible mistake when he discovers professor Johnson lecturing Taylor Gabriel on the finer points of the “Riverdance”:
But the footwork needed to “Riverdance” properly kind of translates to route-running, doesn’t it? Eh, what the hell, if the Browns aren’t going to win many games this year, the least they could do is indulge in some creative end zone celebrations. Bring back the pylon putter, the fine sign, and the premature Hall of Fame enshrinement jacket.
Latin American Studies 85: Build Your Brand With a New Last Name
Andrew Hawkins is now Andrew Dieciséis. See? Way more marketable.
Physical Education I: FIFA Theory and Practice
Johnson is an avowed FIFA addict, and it’s reasonable to assume that the soccer video game improved his hand-eye coordination — an absolutely vital skill for wideouts. As any successful receiver will tell you, the rec room should always take precedence over the practice field.
Advanced Nutrition: McDonald’s, McDonald’s, and more McDonald’s
The Browns’ team nutritionist can’t be pleased about Johnson’s training camp seminar:
During the Bengals’ 2009 appearance on Hard Knocks, Johnson claimed that he ate McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and for even his pregame meals. Compare this to, say, Tom Brady’s infamous diet — 80 percent of which consists of vegetables — or Larry Fitzgerald’s meal plan — which includes an ungodly amount of protein supplementation — and Johnson’s affinity for fast food sticks out. Then again, “nutrition ain’t getting you open,” and after posting a paltry eight receiving touchdowns last season, the Browns’ wideouts should probably defer to Johnson on this one.