For most of his NFL career, Chad Ochocinco has been one of the best and most famous players on his team. Now he’s heading to his first Super Bowl, but he’s doing it as a largely irrelevant part of the Patriots.
Ochocinco says he’s been humbled by that.
“It’s been a learning experience; that’s what this has been. This had been one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever been in,” he said Thursday as he prepared for the Feb. 5 game against the New York Giants. “This is one of the first times I’ve been about doing exactly what everyone told me to do. It wasn’t about the numbers. It wasn’t about money. It wasn’t about me.”
It’s a good thing it wasn’t about the numbers, because Ochocinco’s numbers have been nearly nonexistent. In the regular season he had just 15 catches for 276 yards, and he has played a total of one snap in the Patriots’ two playoff games. Ochocinco has prided himself on not being a distraction despite being a disappointment.
“I handled myself with the utmost professionalism,” Ochocinco said. “I busted my [butt] didn’t pout — that’s what I do: ‘Give me the rock!’ But I didn’t do what people thought I would do. Even I thought I was going to do it.”
Ochocinco has been something no one expected him to be before the season: Quiet, both on the field and off.