Chad Ochocinco is changing his name, again. Or at least his style.
In his first media availability as a member of the Miami Dolphins, Ochocinco said he plans to revert to the attitude that made him what he was, earlier in his career.
“It’s about my getting back to the basics, going back to the root of how it all started,” Ochocinco told reporters Tuesday, via video remarks posted at the team’s website. “Not as far as playing at home in Miami but as far as my game goes, and getting back to what we’re all used to seeing. You know, the basic fundamentals of how I became what I am. I think I kind of lost that, and I’m looking to go back to Chad Johnson and just make it live again.”
He’s right that he “kind of lost” who he was, whether because he was trying to hard too fit in with a Patriots team that looks down on a player drawing too much attention to himself. Chad constantly seemed to be paralyzed by fear of saying the wrong thing, running the wrong route, rubbing someone the wrong way.
Ochocinco also seemed a bit restrained in his Tuesday remarks, but a hint of the old Chad came through from time to time. Like when Chad said he’s “developing Brokeback Mountain-type chemistry with the players,” a term he once used in Cincinnati to describe his relationship with quarterback Carson Palmer.
Chad also playfully deflected whether he’ll be the team’s No. 1 receiver: “I was never good in math, so I’m not good with numbers, either.”
He also articulated an important reason for joining the Dolphins. He said that Miami always has been his team of choice when playing video football.
“Since 1988, I’ve always played Madden, I’ve always used the Dolphins, no matter where I was, no matter where I was playing,” Chad said.
It will likely be slightly more complicated than a game of Madden for Chad to get back to being the guy he once was. Whether that happens depends in large part on how much the Dolphins are willing to encourage him to be himself.