Will Chad Ochocinco Make A Positive Impact In New England?
With the recent news that Chad Ochocinco would be changing zip codes, immediate speculation as to whether or not the former Bengals wideout would be a positive addition to the team swept the league. There’s no denying his physical abilities and raw talent, but would the football player formally known as Johnson be able to keep his eccentric personality in check? That’s the hard part to figure out.
The 6’1″ 190lbs 33-year-old had a string of seasons from 2002-2007 that were increasingly better as a Bengal. Coincidentally, ever since he changed his name to “Ochocinco” in 2008 his career has kind of plateaued. The 2008 campaign saw the Bengals start the season 0-8 with Ochocinco only totaling 11 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in the first four games. The season ended miserably as Ochocinco finished the season with 53 catches for 540 yards and 4 touchdowns. He bounced back with a solid 2009 season and followed that with a forgettable 2010 campaign that left everyone scratching their heads. Meanwhile, Ochocinco’s off-the-field antics continued to pick up steam. He danced with the stars, chased women on VH1, had a show with good buddy Terrell Owens (who actually outperformed Ochocinco as his teammate in 2010) and offered to kick the ass of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
So, the question is whether or not coach Bill Belichick can reel Ochocinco in and create a potent tandem out of him and Tom Brady that will fill the void of the recently retired Randy Moss. Obviously, if Ochocinco can find his early years and leave the off-the-field distractions behind, the league will be in big trouble. The potential for a Brady to Ochocinco tandem to shred DBs is there, it’s just a matter of getting Ochocinco to leave his aspirations of being a celebrity behind in favor of being an excellent football player. Sure, he can do both, but the Patriots surely want to have nothing to do with his reality TV romance with Basketball Wife Evelyn Lozada. The only thing Ochocinco needs to be married to is his team and that playbook. If he can focus on that, we expect the best year for Ochocinco since 2005.