WATCH: Chad Johnson Used to Call Cincinnati Bengals Coaches Late at Night to Tell Them He ‘Was Open’

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Former National Football League star and personality Chad Johnson recently joined one of his old coaches on the latest episode of I Am Athlete.

I Am Athlete is an unscripted and uncensored discussion held weekly by former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson, Fred Taylor, and Channing Crowder. They discuss important and controversial topics around sports, culture, and society from an athlete’s point of view. In their most recent episode, Johnson and one of his former coaches share never-heard-before experiences from their time together.

On the show, Johnson linked up with his former wide receivers coach Hue Jackson. He enjoyed some of the best seasons of his career during Jackson’s tenure as his position coach from 2004 to 2006 with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Also featured in the episode is Marshall, along with a hand full of others. While reminiscing with his coach about their time together, Johnson said that he used to call Jackson and other Bengals coaches in the middle of the night just to mess with them.

“I used to call him and Marvin in the middle of the night. I would call him, ‘Coach Hue, I’m open.’ And then hang up,” Johnson recalls during the interview.

Jackson was laughing as he confirmed that Johnson enjoyed messing with his coaches. “I used to get those calls at two o’clock in the morning.” The former coach explained that Johnson would also ask about the gameplan even though they had meetings scheduled only hours later.

Marshall almost lost it from laughing so hard at the story. Jackson and Johnson both found it pretty funny too.

Chad Johnson Was One of the Most Dynamic Receivers in the NFL Under Jackson

Jackson was the wide receivers coach for the Cincinnati Bengals for just three seasons. However, under Jackson’s tutelage in Cincinnati, Chad Johnson became one of the most prolific wide receivers in the entire league.

In 2005, Johnson caught a career-high 97 receptions for 1,432 yards and nine touchdowns. During that season, he earned First-Team All-Pro honors while helping the Bengals secure the AFC North title and a playoff berth for the first time in 15 years. The following year, all he did was lead the NFL with 1,369 receiving yards, earning another First-Team All-Pro selection.

In each of Jackson’s three years in Cincinnati, Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl. Johnson made two more Pro Bowls in the five years after Jackson left before his final NFL game in 2011.

Whether at the time Jackson found Chad Johnson’s antics annoying or not, the two no doubt had great chemistry together. Despite having a rocky relationship with some of his past coaches, Johnson and Jackson were able to reflect on their time together while both laughing and smiling.