Patriots still believe in Ochocinco


Earlier today, Gregg Rosenthal took a long look at Chad Ochocinco’s steadily diminishing role in the Patriots offense and wondered if he could be on his way out in New England.

It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Brandon Lloyd’s trade to the Rams eliminated one potential reason why Ochocinco might be forced out of New England and members of the Patriots staff Monday made it clear that they still stand behind the wide receiver. Player personnel director Nick Caserio and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien both said there’s still a place for Ochocinco in New England.

“This is a unique place,” O’Brien said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. “We have a lot of guys that contribute, some guys in certain games are contributing more than others. At some point in time, we’re going to need everybody to contribute. So that’s kind of where it is right now. Ocho is probably in that category and really working hard to keep producing and eventually help us in different ways.”

Caserio echoed the notion that there will come a time when the Pats need Ochocinco.

“We’re happy with what Chad has done for us,” Caserio said. “He’s probably one of our best practice players. He goes out there and works hard, practices hard. He competes and has made plays when he’s had the opportunity. We’re six games in, it’s a long season, and we’re happy that Chad is on the team.”

The Pats aren’t suffering from Ocho’s lack of production, so this is little more than a sidebar. Still, it’s interesting to hear the Patriots, not often known for sentimentality when it comes to evaluating players, go so far to defend Ochocinco’s lack of contributions to the offense. They aren’t paying him $6 million to be a good practice player and this is the rare case when a player is lauded for excelling in practice as a defense for the fact that he can’t get on the field during games.

39 responses to “Patriots still believe in Ochocinco

  1. Oh boy… Caserio’s comment reek of “confidence building” … The Pats never do that for anyone… This is not good.

    I hated this deal … and it is starting to look worse and worse as the season continues… Fingers are crossed Eight Five can get it together…

    Bummed about Lloyd… he would been awesome in a Pats uniform.

  2. One thing that should be said: at no time have I ever read that Ocho wasn’t working hard at it in N.E., be it in the film room or one the practice field. I think he really wants it.

    We’ll see.

  3. Not sure why the Pats did not make a serious play for Lloyd, he had some experience with Josh McDaniels’ offense so one would think the transition would have been reasonably smooth.

    Oh well, good move for the Rams, they need some playmakers in the worst way.

    As for Ocho? Hope he gets it eventually, even if it’s by week 14, better late than never!

  4. All of the coaches on offense can say what they want, however unless it comes from Brady it doesn’t matter.

    I mean even with Randy Moss, Beli would say something nice about him, up until Brady said – no, then he was gone.

  5. I actually do have an inside source very close to the situation (no BS, just happen to have a connection here) that basically said this very thing about two weeks ago. The O.C. and the position coach are very pleased with 85’s effort, practice habits, etc. He’s working hard to try and find his niche on this team. Now having said that, I can’t help but compare this situation to the Joey Galloway experiment. Brady looks just as frustrated with Chad as he did with Joey, and we all know how that turned out. BB has said many times that you can never tell how a player will fit into your team and scheme until you put him there and see….sometimes a guy doesn’t look so good for someone else but plays really well here, and sometimes a guy sucks here but fits in well somewhere else. Plenty of examples of that….

  6. Granted, learning this particular playbook can’t be easy — especially if you’re a crisp route-runner, rather than a deep threat (Randy Moss picked it up pretty quickly). So I’m sure the issues go deeper but, visibly, Ocho’s setbacks seem to be staying synced with Brady. He’ll make a great catch, and then jump offsides on the next play — repeatedly. I think he’d be on the field more as his timing and ability to stay synced becomes stronger.

  7. This is the coaching equivalent of the dreaded “Vote of Confidence”. Chad is toast. End of story. Brady voted “No Confidence” yesterday after Chad effed up the slant route. You could see it clearly. It was the same look Joey Galloway got right before his visit from The Turk.

    Expect Ochocinco to get his visit this week…

  8. The Patriots only played 3 wide receiver sets in 7 of 74 offensive snaps yesterday. The reality is right now Ocho is 3rd on the depth chart behind Welker and Branch. If any of the TE or WR’s get hurt Ocho provides good depth. The Pats currently have 4 players Welker (51), Gronk (29) Hernandez (27) Branch (26) in the top 30 in NFL receptions .

  9. First, if Ocho continues drawing coverage from decent corners and safeties, they will continue to keep him. As long as Brady keeps completing passes, it doesn’t matter to whom and Ocho helps open up the offense.

    Second, if they were going to dump him, they would never say anything bad about him publicly. How would that serve the Patriots? If they say good things and he stays and eventually has a few great games, that’s good for the Patriots. If they say good things and then cut him, that’s good for the Patriots. Only saying bad things could screw things up. It won’t happen.

  10. theandy-
    i can see the galloway comparison, but they seem like two completely different types of players. thats just my opinion though. ocho seems like a better fit for this offense, where as galloway was more of a deep threat that just didn’t/couldn’t mesh with what the offense needed and the team cut their losses early.

    all in all, i think the situation is pretty simple about his playing time. they run the 2 TE/ 2 WR set so often, its hard to find a spot for ocho on the field with gronk, hernandez, branch and welker playing well. hernandez almost makes it like a 3rd WR out there. i think when they want to run a true 3 WR set or get ocho out on the field, they feel fine doing it, but they got players who are more effective.

    when vollmer gets healthy, they have 3 pretty good tackles on the roster when you include solder and light. even though he didn’t play well last time he was active, welch on the practice squad is an ok option for a 4th tackle

  11. Im so tired of everyone acting like being with the Patriots is this super exclusive club, or secret society, they havent won anything since 2004…. and have been bounced early in the playoffs just like a regular team.

    they are just one of 32 ball clubs. If he doesnt make it there just go to another one.

    That being said

    Go Pack Go.

  12. Until yesterday’s game against the Cowboys, I felt Chad was (slowly) getting better. He just felt non-existent yesterday though.

    Maybe he had some key plays, but it really felt like a major step back for him.

  13. Man, I’m down with the packers, but this article is about Ochocinco and not about the patriots winning anything. Way to be offtopic. What has anyone else won since 2004?

  14. “They could use his roster spot to shore up the shaky Tackle position.”

    What? Light, Solder and Vollmer are excellent tackles not sure what you’re talking about Demarcus Ware will get two sacks against anybody.

    “they havent won anything since 2004”

    Well actually it was 2005 when they won the Super Bowl but I wouldn’t expect you to know that.

    And it’s about consistency buddy. The Packers got good two years ago the Patriots have been good for eleven years.

    As for Ocho I don’t have a ton of faith that he will be a “major” contributor but if he can work his way into 20-30 snaps per game then that would be nice.

    It’s not like the Patriots offense needs him though.

  15. Two letters that Chad hates…. A.J. Just kidding, he wanted out, and the Bengals finally were ready to move on. Good situation for both. Bengals have a hungry rookie wr, as was Chad, and Chad is playing for a perenial playoff team, and still getting his six mil. Can’t beat that.

  16. nflwatcher says:
    Oct 17, 2011 5:39 PM
    The Patriots only played 3 wide receiver sets in 7 of 74 offensive snaps yesterday. The reality is right now Ocho is 3rd on the depth chart behind Welker and Branch. If any of the TE or WR’s get hurt Ocho provides good depth. The Pats currently have 4 players Welker (51), Gronk (29) Hernandez (27) Branch (26) in the top 30 in NFL receptions .

    Six million a year for a “just in case player”? I think they expected more than that when they signed him.

  17. It won’t be long before Chad is going to go”off”. Watch his Twitter. He plays better when he has all the attention.

  18. He hasn’t been an elite WR since 2008. His numbers have fallen off dramatically and his player “image” was inflated because of his sideshow antics drew the spotlight to him.

    His better days are well behind him. He needs to settle into a #3 role.

  19. @xxbomberxx…

    Great. Now we have Packers fans yapping. Be at the top of the heap for 10 years (or at least 5) and then comment on this board, okay?

    Yes, Pats have been bounced early, but they’ve also played one of the hardest schedules and had the best record of all teams over the last 5 years. It’s still the other team’s “Super Bowl” every time the Pats come to town. Just look at Buffalo’s reaction this year. Last year it was the Jets who won the Pats Super Bowl.

    I don’t think any fans are rushing the field after a victory over the mighty Packers just yet.

  20. lol at the lol @ Pats comments

    lol Going into the by week their biggest issue is the 5th receiver isnt producing enough?

    As I said before on this site who is Ochcinco gonna pass?

    Welker? No
    Branch? No
    Hernandez? No

    thats alot of receptions infront of him… besides if Ocho faulters Pats just give a shot to Taylor Price the young WR who is finally healthy.

    Oh plus the D has been better the last two weeks, not great but better then the beginning of the season lets hope they continue to get better

  21. theandy59 says:
    I actually do have an inside source very close to the situation (no BS, just happen to have a connection here)
    By “inside source very close to the situation”, you mean the guy who parks the players cars, of course.

    When are you clowns going to realize that no one here believes you have an “inside source”, and saying you do makes you look utterly ridiculous?

  22. romosexualtendencies69 says:
    Convert him to the secondary

    Perhaps he can do what they can’t and stop someone.
    Yeah, ’cause Romo lit them up for a whopping 16 points yesterday, right?

  23. At this point, Whitney Houston Brown is less of a Diva. Man up Chad Johnson. Go to the film room and figure out this offense. Otherwise go fade away into obscurity, along with your girl TO! You two are literally irrelevant, even though YOU are employed by an NFL team. Maybe you girls can comfort one another? Are your cycles now in sync, seeing that neither one of you are working.

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