CINCINNATI – As expected, Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco made his offseason debut Tuesday, and though he declared he was in tremendous shape, he didn’t get in much work during the first two practices of mini-camp.
Though Andy took my money quote ( in case you missed it, here it is: “I just need everybody to trust in me like birth control. I’m going to be there for you 99.9 percent of the time.” As an aside to the original aside, Jets CB Darrelle Revis could tell you about the other 0.1 percent of the time) , Ochocinco talked about why his teammates should trust him.
The question comes because Ochocinco missed voluntary workouts yet again – this year, he spent his time on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and he’s currently filming a reality dating show for vh1.
“I could die and resurrect and handle my business,” Ochocinco told us after the morning practice. “In general, people need to trust when I’m not here. That should never, ever, ever, ever be a question. Ever. You already know how I am when I get here. You know what you’re getting. It’s the outside. My teammates know what time it is.
“I just want everybody to remember that nothing has changed. It seems there are always questions when I’m not here. But I’m still training and working out the same way. The same way I’ve done in the past years. I’m still hungry, and I have a love and passion for this game. Nothing’s changed.”
Except that he’s not in the same kind of shape he’d be in if he had attended OTAs with most of the rest of his teammates. That’s why he didn’t get much action in the practices today.
“We didn’t want to overdo it,” offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said. “If he hasn’t been doing a lot of football stuff, you have to ease him back into it. You can tell he hasn’t done a lot of football. I think he’s in pretty good shape, but there’s a big difference in football where you’re running routes and sticking your foot in the ground and putting pressure on your joints. You can tell he hasn’t been doing a lot of route running.”
Once minicamp ends Thursday, Ochocinco said he’ll fly to Las Vegas and train in the boxing gym with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to further his preparation for the season.
“It’s the quickness, the hand-eye coordination,” Ochocinco said. “My feet aren’t going anywhere. The cardio that boxing gives me, especially working out with him, will shot me up there. I’ll come back in stupid shape.”
Maybe in good enough shape to run through an entire practice.
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