Catching Up, Catching On

At the next extended family reunion, there's a strong possibility that the resident football star will walk in, immediately drawing the spotlight of attention from adoring relatives. He'll spin tales about his success, the adulation of fans, how good he is, how good his team is, etc.

But there's a chance that even though Dallas WR Keyshawn Johnson is a member of this family, he might not be the one garnering all the attention. Johnson says his cousin, Cincinnati WR Chad Johnson, has more talent -- and talks more -- than he ever has.

"I talked to him for about an hour last night," Keyshawn said Monday, "about getting my tickets for the game. And I told him about Roy Williams. I told him Roy Williams will (punish him).

While Keyshawn has been in the NFL longer than his cousin ("my dad is related to his mom -- one of those distant cousins situations," Keyshawn said), he said it is Chad who has the tools to be the better receiver.

"I try to be a little more like him, and I think he tries to be a little more like me," Keyshawn said. "I'm pretty damn good, but he can be better. He can be way better than me."

Keyshawn said he talked to his cousin after Chad's Bengals upset the Denver Broncos last Monday night.

"(Denver CB) Champ Bailey got an interception on him last week," Keyshawn said. "I told him the only reason Champ Bailey got that interception was because Chad was two-and-a-half yards outside the (hashmark) numbers. If he stays inside the numbers, Champ never gets that pick."

Both Johnsons have big-time talent, and both want the ball thrown their way -- a lot. Keyshawn said he's learned to accept the fact that the ball might not come his way as often as he'd like, and said his cousin needs to learn to accept the same thing.

"There are a lot different reasons why the ball may not get thrown your way more," Keyshawn said. "Defenses can load up on you. The running game can go well. Sometimes the ball just doesn't come your way, but that's not something you can control. That's something he's still learning. He eventually is going to learn to control his reactions to that, and that's going to make him even better."

Keyshawn Johnson is not exactly known for shunning the spotlight. From the time he was drafted first overall by the New York Jets to his rookie-year memoir ("Just Gimme the Damn Ball") to his much-ballyhooed dismissal last year from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his clash with Bucs coach Jon Gruden. But he says it is Chad who has the tighter grasp on the media spotlight.

"He said he was going to send something here," Keyshawn said, referring to his cousin's decision to send bottles of Pepto-Bismol to Cleveland DBs before his Bengals met (and lost to) the Browns a couple of weeks ago. "I told him if sends something here, he's going to stink up the joint (Sunday). I told him I have just one word (actually two) for him: Roy Williams."

Growing up, the Johnsons didn't know each other. Since their recent connection, however, they've become close.

"We have a strong relationship," Keyshawn said. "This year, we haven't talked a whole lot, but last year, we probably talked about three times a week."

So when they take to the field, who talks the most trash? Keyshawn said Monday that contest is no contest at all.

"Oh, he does -- it's not even close," Keyshawn said. "I don't think I even talk trash."

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