Chad Johnson didn't celebrate his highlight-film touchdown catch in the Cincinnati Bengals' opener.
Turns out he was saving himself.
One of the NFL's most frequently fined players plans to introduce a signature touchdown celebration on Sunday night against the Miami Dolphins. The never-shy wide receiver would provide only one hint about what he'll do.
"Nothing to get myself or my team in trouble or get a penalty," he said Wednesday. "It will be within the rules that they changed in the offseason. I'll give the fans what they want. I know what I can and can't do."
The league cracked down on premeditated celebrations this season. In addition to players getting fined, their teams will receive 15-yard penalties -- a big incentive to stay within the rule.
Johnson flagrantly disregarded the rule last season and got fined for three touchdown celebrations.
He was docked $5,000 for a photo pose in the end zone in Cleveland, another $5,000 for a throat-slash gesture in Cincinnati, and $10,000 for holding up a preprinted sign that read: "Dear NFL: Please don't fine me again" during a home game in December.
Any of those celebrations would draw a 15-yard penalty this season.
Johnson said he has come up with a unique celebration that stays within the guidelines. His first chance to unveil it came last Sunday, when he made a diving 53-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter of a 31-24 loss to the New York Jets.
All he did was put the ball down in the end zone.
"Can't celebrate when you're losing," he said. "I never celebrate when we're losing. It kind of takes away from the whole thing."
Time Out in New York
Three New York Giants have appealed to the players' union regarding fines imposed on them by Coach Tom Coughlin for showing up "not early enough" to team meetings. All reported less than five minutes before the meeting, a no-no in Coughlin's book.
So will Coughlin fine himself after showing up at 11:14 a.m. Wednesday for his daily news conference, scheduled for 11:05? . . .
The Seattle Seahawks opened the season by flying 4,202 miles to and from New Orleans. This weekend, they fly 4,970 miles to and from Tampa, making it 9,172 miles in eight days.
For the second consecutive year, Seattle will travel more miles than any other NFL team during the regular season. Seven of the Seahawks' eight road games will require a roundtrip of at least 2,220 miles.
It's even tougher because each of Seattle's road games comes on consecutive weekends. The Seahawks open with six of their first nine games on the road, including four in a five-week span.
From Oct. 17 to Nov. 14, Seattle travels to New England, Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis. There's one home game in that stretch: Oct. 31 against Carolina.
Gruden: Face to Face
Seattle Coach Mike Holmgren, who had Jon Gruden on his staff from 1992 to '94, isn't sure where Gruden came up with his scowl.
"When he started getting famous, he started doing that," Holmgren said. "My girls asked me, 'What's wrong with Jon?' They'd never seen him do that before."
The two have faced off before, splitting six games when Gruden coached the Oakland Raiders and both teams were in the AFC West. Gruden says it meant a lot to him that Holmgren was the first with a congratulatory phone call after Tampa Bay's Super Bowl victory in 2003.
Several other former members of Holmgren's staffs have been successful elsewhere, including Philadelphia's Andy Reid, Green Bay's Mike Sherman and Detroit's Steve Mariucci, who was head coach in San Francisco before moving to the Detroit Lions.
"He knows he's had a lot to say in anybody's opportunities," Gruden said.
Holmgren was joking about the scowl, saying he doesn't believe any coach would posture for the camera or put on a different personality. There's simply too much to worry about on the field.
"I just pray I don't scratch or pick," Holmgren said. "Honestly, you are so unaware when the camera is on. You are who you are. I just try to be disciplined for my players."
Money in the Bank
With all the talk about how the Washington Redskins were ready to unleash LaVar Arrington, the defensive heroes in their first-week victory were Antonio Pierce and Matt Bowen, who each forced a turnover that led to a score. They also led the team in tackles and Bowen got the first two sacks of a five-year NFL career.
"Can I introduce you guys to Mr. Money Run?" Arrington said putting his arms around Pierce . "This is Mr. Money Run himself."
That's part of the new system Joe Gibbs has introduced.
"It just shows you how versatile the defense will be," cornerback Fred Smoot said. "There's going to be a lot of odd people with sacks. There's going to be a game I might have two sacks, and it's really going to shock you. This defense sets everybody up to make plays."
Pierce played so well at middle linebacker against Tampa Bay that the Redskins will have a tough decision when veteran Mike Barrow, a free agent from the Giants, gets healthy. Money Run might have earned a place in the starting lineup.
"It's going to be hard to justify if he's not starting," Arrington said. "He's shown that he's more than capable of leading this team."