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Around the AFC North: Ochocinco Going Back to "Johnson"?

In today's edition of Around the AFC North, we take a look at rumors of Chad Ochocinco going back to his former name, whether the Ravens missed out on getting Rex Ryan as their head coach, and how offensive coordinators are often to blame in the NFL.

Cincinnati Bengals: Ochocinco is Changing His Name Again

Never failing to be in the limelight, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco might not be called that for very much longer. According to the star receiver, he plans on changing his name again. What will he go with this time?

"Oh, and I'm changing my name back to Johnson," he said. "I've done enough with this Ocho thing. It was fun"

There are a few other quotes from Ochocinco in the interview, as he talks about his wishes to play for the Patriots and his thoughts on quarterback Carson Palmer's request for a trade. Hurry up and go to those closeout stores and pick up an old "Chad Johnson" jersey. This might be a rare time where those old jerseys in the warehouse can actually jump back out of the "decline" stage!

Baltimore Ravens: Did the Team Miss Out on Rex Ryan?

Bruce Raffel from Baltimore Beatdown poses the question: when the Ravens hired John Harbaugh a couple of years ago, did they miss out on the opportunity to instead promote Rex Ryan to their head coaching position?

Since [the hiring], Ryan has left to become Head Coach of the New York Jets and all he's done in his two seasons there has been to lead them to the brink of the Super Bowl both times, only to lose in the AFC Championship Game. Meanwhile, the Ravens made the playoffs both of those years, but lost in the second round of the post season.


Obviously, both coaches have had decent success in the short term of their head coaching careers. But would the outcome have been different for the Ravens had they given the opportunity to Rex Ryan rather than John Harbaugh? That might be an unfair question to put out there, but with the obvious shortcomings that the Ravens have had in big games the past three years under Coach Harbaugh, and the recent success of Rex Ryan in New York, it bears discussion.

As of this post, 41% of the voters believe the team did miss out on Ryan. Harbaugh still has a larger percentage of the votes at 52% though, and rightly so.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Taxman = Offensive Coordinators

Over at Behind the Steel Curtain, maryrose compares the Taxman to the NFL's offensive coordinators in a fun article that highlights how much blame these guys receive for a team's failed efforts:

In the olden days, the Taxman was the most hated guy in town. He was the guy who went from door to door collecting tax money from people who hated to see him coming. It didn't matter that he might have been a really nice guy, or that he might have done his job exceptionally well. All that mattered was that the nature of his job was such that he wasn't going to win any popularity contests.

Today we no longer have the Taxman, but its modern day version is called "offensive coordinator." Call a brilliant game and you never hear your name mentioned. Run a play that doesn't work and eight million arm-chair experts start the harpoon-fest. That's the nature of the job.