Chad Ochocinco hasn’t had a good preseason with the Patriots.
There have been whispers that he, along with Albert Haynesworth, might be on the chopping block, and the most significant act of his first month in a New England uniform has been to offer to pay the fine of a guy who smacked him in a helmet-to-helmet hit and caused an incompletion.
Either that or the time he offered to live with a Patriots fan as long as that fan had an Xbox.
The part of the preseason, though, that has been flummoxing is that Ochocinco has been slow to catch on to the Patriots offense. You’ll recall Ochocinco grew comfortable in his previous 10 seasons with the Bengals, mainly because he was the star receiver for much of that time and because the offensive coordinator, Bob Bratkowski, ran the offense the entire time he was there.
But with the Patriots, Ochocinco is far behind the likes of Wes Welker and Deion Branch.
Even so, Ochocinco remains positive. And while there are many reasons to rip Ochocinco at any given time, his work ethic is certainly not in question. He works hard, maybe harder than you think.
|Ochocinco in New England|
“I think it’s my third week. Let’s be realistic. It’s the highest levels of football. It’s not easy.”
If Ochocinco was to rate his comfort level on a scale of 1-10, he said he’d be about a seven right now. It is interesting to watch Ochocinco in relation to his new quarterback. With Carson Palmer, Ochocinco would get into shouting matches with him or pout (not just with Palmer, but with the coaching staff as well) on the sidelines of games.
But with Tom Brady, Ochocinco lets him talk as much as he needs to talk. Ochocinco listens to Brady and thinks over what he’s saying. Even if he’s not on the chopping block -- and I’m not convinced he is -- he knows he needs to be much better than he’s been so far.
I’m just nowhere near where I want to be,” Ochocinco said. “I’m my biggest critic anyway. Regardless of what you write, what you guys see, I’m the first to judge myself. I’m always aiming for perfection. One of the things about being here, one of the things about being in an organization like this that prides itself on perfection and excellence, I’m sort of putting the pressure on myself to be right and be perfect now. Not later. I’m trying to squeeze everything within a short time frame, and it’s somewhat impossible. But if I can aim to be as perfect as possible, I think I can get up to speed.”
Of course, if Ochocinco gets too sad, all he has to do is look at the fish that surround his head when he sleeps. That should make him feel better.
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