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Chad Ochocinco Johnson


Why I Said Ochocinco to New England Patriots Would Be A Mistake

New England Patriot Chad Ochocinco Catches a Basketball Game

Yeah, I know the feeling Chad. Trust me.

I hate making predictions. Why? Cause I hate being completely wrong. I predicted former Cincinnati Bengal Chad Ochocinco would sign with the Raiders and be reunited with his good friend Coach Hue Jackson. But that didn’t happen. Ocho publicly pleaded to play for New England. At the end of the lockout he got his wish.

I couldn’t understand his thinking. I tweeted about it then (before it ever happened, or looked like it would happen). But now I’ll give my full explanation with some added details now that the season is here.

The first reason I worried about Ocho to New England was because of his age (33) and the fact that if you’re not productive on the team you’re traded to, most older players don’t suddenly become “journeymen.” They just fade into existence. Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are exceptions to this rule, but also their level of talent is much greater. But for most players once you’ve spent 9 years on one team, your next stop is your last stop. Better make it a good one.

Actually, this reminds me of Ocho’s former teammate WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Hous and Ocho played together in Cincy, and Hous put up numbers good enough to be considered a free agent prize when he left the team. Seattle was his eventual landing spot.  Seattle released him after one “okay” season (even though he came at a pretty high price). The Ravens picked him up for the veteran minimum and also released him after one season-though I suspect that his lack of production there had as much to do with the team as it did his own abilities. The Ravens could barely get Anquan Boldin involved in big games and he is undoubtedly a talent.

Point is, older players usually don’t get multiple seasons on new teams to prove themselves. It’s now or never. Hous is currently a man without a team.

Now here we find Chad Ochocinco barreling toward a similar circumstance of “well you didn’t have the impact I thought you would so therefore you must suck.” Low production for a season, advanced age, and the appearance that you did really badly on a very good team is an image killer.

And that is right where Ocho seems headed. He was never going to be “the man” in New England. Tom Brady spreads the ball as well as anybody but he does already have favorite targets like Wes Welker and also Rob Gronkowski.

The last cut the Pats made of a popular WR was Randy Moss whose ability to both run a route oddly to confuse defenders—typical of elite receivers— and still manage to get into place for the catch endeared him to Brady (who says he still talks to Moss on the phone). At this point, I don’t know what would be the endearing factor between Ocho and Brady but I hope Ocho finds one soon.

When Doug Farrar  of Yahoo’s Shut Down Corner blog looked at footage of the Pats versus the Bills he tweeted that Brady was often choosing to throw to one of the other receivers even if that receiver was covered and Ocho was open.

That will take time to fix, the question is will the Pats give him that time?

Beyond what low numbers do to a receiver’s future marketability, Ocho’s interest in being on the Pats team was odd to me from a marketing perspective.

When Ocho first started publicly saying he wanted to play for the patriots I suspected that he may have only said it as a way of sticking a finger in the eye of his dysfunctional team. Everyone has great respect for Belichick and Tom Brady and that mentioning wanting to play with them is a great way to highlight the fact that your team is nothing like them.

The Patriots are EVERYTHING that Cincy is not from a playing style, front office, management, coaching, and personnel perspective. But the Patriots also have not won a Super bowl in years, and have not been particularly successful in the playoffs recently.

In 2010, a public plea to play for the Pats is more of a thumbing of the nose rather than a genuine desire win a Super Bowl before your career is over—especially if you’re already 32.

For all the chatting that Chad Ochocinco likes to do, he is well-known through the league for his commitment to conditioning and his willingness to be a team player. I know that second part sounds strange given some of the dramatics that have occurred, but remember, this is Cincy we’re talking about.

But what Ochocinco is NOT known for is what matters the most to the Patriots—discipline on the football field. Heavy film study. Approaching the game from an intellectual standpoint FIRST and foremost. And sacrificing personal production in the interest of Tom Brady spreading the ball and keeping defenses guessing at which eligible receiver will be targeted next.

Why a player who likes to play as loose as Chad, and likes the spotlight as much as he does would want to sign with the Men-in-Black-Memory-Erasing Patriots organization is a mystery. Especially at a point in his career where his antics off field are actually very necessary.

If Ocho is going to remain relevant post-football he needs to keep up the momentum he had with his reality show work. Why would someone who is at the end of their career but wants to remain in the spotlight go to a team where the Coach says he doesn’t “myface or yearbook” and probably doesn’t think you should either?

It just felt like a bad match to me, and it still does.

The whole issue of not having OTAs and mini-camps has reared its ugly head in lots of ways-from the high number of ACL tears to obvious player discomfort with new playbooks and schemes.

Chad isn’t alone, but that doesn’t mean he will keep his job. I’m rooting for him to make yet another one of my predictions wrong. I hope his time with the Patriots is a success.



Video: Ochocinco Vows To Pay Fine for Rookie Linebacker That Hit Him While Defenseless

New England Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco is Ever the Defiant One.

New England Patriots Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco was hit by rookie Linebacker Mason Foster during the Patriots exhibition game against the Bucs. Today Chad tweeted that he didn’t agree with the fine and would pay it personally. The tweet in question was addressed to Roger Goodell who the mercurial star referred to as “Dad.”

Couldn’t tell if the Dad comment was related to players’ feeling that they are treated like kids (for an example, see Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson telling Cam Newton not to get any tattoos or piercings) or if it’s a reference to Colin Cowherd’s IDIOTIC statement that players look at Goodell as a father figure. I’m still in disbelief that Cowherd said that…he must get his information from Fox news.

Two things here:

1. No doubt in my mind that Ochocinco was defenseless. The question (not for the refs) is whether the hit could have been prevented given Foster’s momentum. My feeling is that that was a hit that didn’t have to happen. Everyone wants to stop the completion but sometimes you have to settle for stopping the gain after. The public and players need to get used to this.

2. Foster is a rookie and hasn’t even received his first game check. So regardless of whether the fine is right or wrong, it’s stand up for Ocho to pay the fine. That lil boy doesn’t  have a lot of money yet. Foster was a 3rd round pick. He signed a deal for 4 years that is worth $2.784-million (but could go up). Only $1.4-million is guaranteed in the first two seasons. A fine of a quarter of his game pay would be a big ouch for a rookie mistake during a game that doesn’t count.

View the hit for yourself here:



Chad Johnson Better Player Than Ochocinco? Plus Did Ochocinco and Owens Deliberately Ruin Plays?

If you haven’t heard by now, or don’t give a damn, Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco is changing his name back to Chad Johnson.  Chris Good takes a quick look at the WR’s stats and writes in The Atlantic that the name change might be good because he was better before changing his name.

Comparing the two can be tricky. For one down year (2008), the two men coexisted before the transformation was complete: Johnson legally became Ochocinco in August 2008, but he continued to wear “Johnson” for the 2008 season. He didn’t wear “Ochocinco” until the 2009 season, after the NFL gave him permission. Out of fairness to the two, we can probably throw out the 2008 season.

By nearly every statistical measure, Chad Johnson outperformed Chad Ochocinco, even counting Johnson’s rookie 2001 season, in which his stats were low. Johnson played eight NFL seasons; Ochocinco has played two. Neither man has played for any team other than the Cincinnati Bengals.

Johnson outperformed Ochocinco, per season on average, by .4 games played, 10.4 catches, 256 yards, 1.2 yards per catch, 13.3 yards per game, and .5 TDS. His season-longest catches went for 18.1 more yards. If he switches back, maybe #85 will return to form.

I thought this was a cute article, however, one key thing is missing-Chad Ochocinco is a few years older than Chad Johnson and that makes a big difference in production.

After thinking about Chad’s stats and production, Bengals QB Carson Palmer’s attempt to demand a trade, and TO’s claims that the Bengals need to pass more, I was inspired to look more closely at the Bengals offensive numbers.

Palmer completed 382 of 586 passes for 3,970 yards. His passer rating was 82.4. This is down from his 2009 rating of 83.6, a season in which he also played all 16 games of the regular season.

All three Bengals primary receivers were fairly productive, in particular RB Cedric Benson who quietly rushed for over 1,000 yards.  Sidebar: Benson is a free agent and rumor has it that the Bengals are ready to let him walk.

Surprisingly, Ochocinco and Wide Receiver Terrell Owens accounted for a mere 141 of Palmer’s 382 completions and a little over 1800 of those almost 4000 yards, which lets me know Palmer continues to spread the ball among receivers whether by choice or by force.

On the defensive end, like many teams, Cincy suffered some key injuries. Mostly their pass rush was affected, but their defense still ended the season at #15 in the league (ahead of the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts).

Since at least 8 or 9 of the Bengals 12 losses were within a margin of 7 points, I think you can point many of their losses to mistakes in key moments and faulty execution on offense.

Speaking of which…according to Bengals coaches have complained that many of Palmer’s incompletions can be attributed to Ochocinco and Owens routinely breaking off routes. Given both Ochocinco and Owens’ penchant for “doing their own thing,” this isn’t hard to believe. It explains some of the 20 interceptions that Palmer threw as well as some of the 224 incompletions.

How many? I have no idea. But those comments pretty much ensure neither receiver will return to the team in 2011 regardless of whether Palmer has already played his best football and has contributed to the problem.

Cincy owner Mike Brown has said unequivocally that Palmer will not get his wish to be traded. I expect Ochocinco to end up with the Raiders now that Hue Jackson will be head coach. As for Terrell Owens’ future, does anyone really give a damn?

Thoughts on the Bengals? Why do they suck? Should Palmer be traded? Where will the two divas end up?


Do Football Color Commentators Suck? Or Are We Just Mean?

If there’s anything football fans can agree on, it’s that color commentary in the game is lacking enormously. Whether biased commentators are blatantly kissing the asses of their former colleagues or favorite teams or whether announcers are saying one thing while replay CLEARLY shows something different. I think we all have our pet peeves…I hear a lot about what we all don’t like but what about the color commentators we do like?

I make no secrets of how much I love Jon Gruden and Chris Collingsworth-they’re easily my favorite color guys. Though, admittedly, I think Chris Collingsworth is the ultimate SHADE ARTIST. For those aren’t familiar, the term “shade” is used to describe a circumstance in which one person actively seeks to prevent another person from shining fully. No matter what that person has done, the other person will find a way to put a damper on it. If you want to hear some Collingsworth shade, listen to him call a Bengals game and analyze the performance of Chad Ochocinco. He will try to be kind. Then he will fail. Repeatedly.

In terms of writers, I enjoy Sally Jenkins at the Post and Michael Wilbon. I have no interest in seeing Wilbon on television though. When it comes to show hosts, I’m one of the few who love Bob Costas-even though I know his propensity to make EVERY GAME sound historically significant can be very annoying. I don’t listen to much radio, but when I do, Bomani Jones is top for me-though he covers all sports.  For an exclusive football experience, LaVar Arrington’s show is my choice despite the fact that there is an emphasis on the Washington Redskins.

My biggest pet peeve about sports commentary is how easily biased commentators can drive story lines. For new fans and casual fans it really affects how they view the game no matter whether it’s during-game commentary or Pardon the Interruption or any other number of sports shows, blogs, and writing.


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