Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Oftentimes, when I hear the name Hue Jackson, I don’t think of him as the Raiders head coach. Instead, I think back to the time a few years ago when, after Chad Ochocinco’s collision with Browns cornerback Leigh Bodden left him with a concussion, he kept calling out for Jackson in the Bengals locker room.
Eventually, Jackson -- then the receivers coach in Cincinnati -- appeared by Ochocinco’s side, and even though Ochocinco was clearly out of sorts (it was an uncomfortable moment inside the locker room that day for those of us who were trying to interview Ochocinco), it was also obvious how much Jackson means to Ochocinco.
And after talking to the Patriots media corps this week, it’s also obvious how much Ochocinco means to Jackson.
Chad Johnson's my son," said Jackson, via CSN New England, who didn’t mean it in the literal way. "I know you guys probably have a hard time with him. He's kind of colorful. But he is a tremendous young man. I really adore him but I won't on Sunday."
"I helped raise that young man in Cincinnati. He played for me, he did wonders for me and he is a tremendous competitor and a doggone good football player."
Ochocinco, who will reunite with and play against his former coach Sunday, hasn’t been very good this year, dropping what could have been the game-winning touchdown last week vs. the Bills and recording only five catches for 87 yards in the first three games.
He’s also seemingly undergone a personality transplant. While in Cincinnati, he was playful and obnoxious and self-centered in the locker room. Really, he was like a child. But in New England, he’s been more even-keeled and less fun. Whether that’s a byproduct of the Bill Belichick regime or because he’s struggling with the playbook and with his game, it’s unclear. But for now, it looks like Ochocinco isn’t the same player (or person) in New England as he was in Cincinnati.
"When you tend to have success and things have gone for you the way his career has gone up to this point, it's hard when you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Jackson said. “But one thing I know about him, he's going to continue to work. He'll do everything that's asked of him. He's a tremendous pro. Eventually, it will come off right for him. I just don't want it to happen this week."
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.