HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -David Barrett and the rest of the New York Jets' defensive backs were prepared to hear some yapping from Chad Johnson.
``It doesn't bother me because he has to do his job, just like I've got to do mine,'' the veteran cornerback said Wednesday of Cincinnati's star wide receiver. ``A little bit of talking doesn't hurt anybody.''
And neither does not talking trash, which is how the outspoken and entertaining Johnson is approaching this week's game against New York. He has a reputation for providing bulletin board material before games and capping touchdowns with elaborate celebrations, but has kept mostly quiet during the Bengals' 1-4 start.
``If you think about all the past antics that I've done, they're always done while things are going well,'' Johnson said during a conference call. ``The situation right now isn't right. If I do score, I'll just give the ball to the ref. The time isn't right. We aren't winning and we aren't on the right page for those things to go on.''
The Bengals might be able to get things right in a hurry against a pass defense that ranks 27th. Johnson has 36 catches for 578 yards, which ranks second in the NFL, and three touchdowns. Teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh has fared even better with 47 catches, second in the league, for 505 yards and seven TDs.
``It's going to be a great challenge for us,'' Barrett said. ``Right now, they're No. 1 in the league as a combo, so we know we're going to have our hands full going out there trying to challenge those guys.''
Johnson and Houshmandzadeh will be the latest test for rookie Darrelle Revis, who has already drawn the tough tasks of trying to cover elite receivers Randy Moss, Lee Evans and Plaxico Burress.
``You just know you need to bring your `A' game, your `A-plus' game,'' Revis said. ``Every week, though, I think it's all great receivers that we go up against. These two right here, they're one of the best (duos).''
Revis has been mostly solid through his first six NFL games, looking like a rookie only against Buffalo's Evans, who beat him a number of times three weeks ago.
At this time last year, Revis was still at the University of Pittsburgh and establishing himself as one of the best cover cornerbacks in college. Surely he must've dreamed of this type of matchup, going up against one of the best receivers in the NFL, right?
``No,'' Revis said while shaking his head and laughing. ``It doesn't hit you until you're out there with them. In the first game when we played the Patriots, I knew Randy Moss was going to play, but then when you get out there and you look at him, you go, `Oh, OK.' It's just something that when you get out there, just play.''
Johnson said he hadn't yet watched any tape of the Jets' secondary, but planned to later in the afternoon.
``It's going to be a good challenge, regardless of the side of the ball that I'm on,'' Johnson said. ``It's going to be fun.''
And another major test for the rookie cornerback.
``It goes both ways,'' Revis said. ``I never played against Chad and he never played against me, so there's a question mark over both of our heads. Even T.J., too.''
Cornerback Andre Dyson knows all about Johnson and Houshmandzadeh, having played against them a number of times during his first four seasons with Tennessee.
``They're both great all-around receivers,'' Dyson said. ``They can run after the catch, catch the ball, run multiple routes, so they're not one-dimensional. That's the biggest thing with them. You can't just key in on one thing. They make you play honest.''
Otherwise, they'll likely make a big play, something the Jets have a bad habit of allowing.
``It's going to be a tough task, but anything's possible,'' Dyson said.
Last week, Philadelphia's Kevin Curtis took a short pass, eluded two tackle attempts and turned it into a 75-yard touchdown. The Jets also gave up a 53-yard touchdown pass to the Giants' Burress and a 51-yard scoring catch to Moss.
``That's something that we're trying to get better at right now, day in and day out, is going out there and get better at tackling,'' Barrett said. ``It's not good to go out there and miss tackles.''
Even with the Jets secondary's penchant for allowing big plays, Johnson is trying to stay focused.
``I don't get excited anymore,'' he said. ``Everytime I get excited, it doesn't work out the way I thought it would. I'm sure they're going to be ready for the big play.''

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