Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new contender in the P. Willy Nickname Challenge ... Cincinnati receiver Chad Johnson. We were having a rather dull conference call with Ocho Cinco this morning when someone asked him a throw-away question about facing the 49ers' defense. That's when Johnson turned into the Ocho Cinco we all know and love. (Parents, you may not want to let your kids read the following).
"Who in the BLEEP is 52?!" Johnson said. "Oh my BLEEPING God, I've seen a lot of linebackers over my seven-year career, but that Mother BLEEPER is good."
And then Johnson put himself in the running for the coveted Bee T-shirt. "He was playing with the cast on film and I started calling him Bam Bam. Like on the Flintstones. He is the truth. You just tell him that 85 said he is the truth."
Johnson said he was no defensive specialist, but he did say, "I know when somebody's making every God BLEEP play."
Other OC bon mots:
On Steve Smith jawing with Nate Clements a week and a half ago: "See there's a difference. Steve -- his talking is somewhat serious. My talking is somewhat fun."
On whether Clements or Walt Harris covers him: "I don't care who I see. They could put Oprah out there."
On what kind of CB Oprah would be: "She has so much money. She has to be a man-to-man, lock-down cornerback because those are the only ones who get paid."
Mike Nolan reportedly took a long look as Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese when offensive coordinator Norv Turner left for San Diego. Asked whether he spoke to Mike Nolan about Zampese, coach Marvin Lewis said: "Mike and I ... I don't need to get into that." Lewis also said that he liked how former 49ers WR Marcus Maxwell has been performing in practice but that he hasn't been able to suit Maxwell up for the game as much as he'd like.
The 49ers signed former Carolina Panthers QB Chris Weinke on Wednesday. Weinke spent six seasons with the Panthers after joining the team as a fourth-round draft pick out of Florida State in 2001. Weinke compiled a 32-3 record during his collegiate career and earned the Heisman Trophy as a 28-year-old senior in 2000. He was the oldest player ever to win the Hesiman. Weinke is four months younger than Trent Dilfer.
Dilfer is doubtful for Saturday's game against Cincinnati with a concussion while Alex Smith will fly to Birmingham, Ala. today to have surgery on his right shoulder tomorrow. Smith was placed on injured reserve.
-- Matt Barrows