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Ocho Cinco: 'I'm in love with Belichick'

Posted by Chris Forsberg, Boston.com Staff  February 1, 2008 12:37 AM

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson continues to shower the New England Patriots organization with praise.

Colleague Mike Reiss wrote in Thursday's edition of the Globe's Super Bowl Insider how Johnson joked to a Boston reporter, "I'm going to be playing for your team next year," before putting his hands together as if praying and looked to the heavens.

We caught up with Johnson at Madden Bowl XIV Thursday night in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he continued to compliment the Patriots, paticularly coach Bill Belichick.

"I'm in love with Belichick," he said.

"We hit it off since we met. I think our first time meeting was down in Hawaii (for the 2007 Pro Bowl)... I have a lot of respect for him. Not because of what he's done with that ball club, but for what I've learned from him in our own personal conversations, on and off the field."

Click HERE to see a portion of our video interview with Johnson, which includes his hope that New England polishes off a 19-0 season and a declaration that he is the best Madden player in the NFL. (Apologies for the boombastic audio, but the music was blaring at the Martini Ranch throughout the festivities).

You'll remember players like Adalius Thomas, then with the Baltimore Ravens, praised Belichick following the game. A year later, Thomas is part of the Patriots' Super Bowl run. Could Johnson be next in a Patriots' uniform?

"It would be fun; I would love to play there," he said Wednesday. "But right now, I'm in Cincinnati. That's where I am."

Jump over to our message boards to share your opinion on seeing Chad Johnson in New England.

We'll have more on the Madden Bowl later, including how New England Patriots running back Laurence Maroney fared in the eight-man tournament. New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, who was scheduled to compete at the event, was not spotted at the start of the event. Maybe he was busy having dinner with his family.

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