To say that Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco has had an off year would be grossly understating his first season with the New England Patriots. Ochocinco finished the season with 15 catches for 276 yards and 1 touchdown. His worst statistical season previously was his first season in 2001, where he nabbed 28 receptions for 329 yards and 1 TD, appearing in 12 games and starting 3. Even then, he had more catches and yards. In the playoffs this year, he has played only one snap, being deactivated in the AFC Championship game for arriving back in New England too late after attending his father’s funeral in Miami.
It’s certainly been a tough season personally, though he will be playing in (possibly) his first Super Bowl, where a victory would be his greatest success as a team player. To his credit, he has not been a distraction to the team and has been a good citizen and a hard worker at practice. To work through his personal frustrations in terms of playing time and opportunities, he has leaned on former Patriot Randy Moss and Ochocinco’s former teammate in Cincinnati, Terrell Owens.
Here is what Ocho had to say about Moss and T.O., according to Pro Football Talk:
“For me, those guys were my outlets. Not Twitter,” Ochocinco said. “To have those two guys in my corner, I talk to them all the time. (Moss) keeps me sane for 16 weeks, every week. Every week we talked. T.O., too. We’re close-knit, us so-called diva receivers. . . . I love those two, man. I didn’t want to burden anyone else in here with that bull. They don’t want to hear that.”
Writer Gregg Rosenthal suggests that the Patriots and Ochocinco will part ways after this season. While it makes sense, I’m not 100% convinced it will happen. It’s possible the Pats bring him to training camp after a full offseason with OTA’s to see if he can get on the same page with Tom Brady and the rest of the offense. We should know early in the offseason, as the Pats may try and go after a new veteran wide receiver, such as Reggie Wayne.