Chad Ochocinco’s troubles in New England may have manifested themselves in difficulties with the playbooks and the pass routes and the overall offensive approach employed by a team that refuses to adapt for any one player. But the overriding problems came from something far less tangible.
As a member of the Patriots, Chad believed he no longer could be Chad. And for Chad, the effort to be someone he wasn’t made spilled over to everything he did. His fear of saying or doing the wrong thing off the field became a fear of doing or saying the wrong thing on the field, and ultimately he became a guy who couldn’t say or do anything right.
Chad is now Chad again. Though we’re still not sure whether the last name will be Ochocinco or Johnson or something else, Chad has rediscovered the persona that he suppressed while a member of the Patriots.
For the X-and-O-obsessed crowd who summarily dismiss the impact of human factors on the game, think again. As former Raiders coach Hue Jackson explained it last year, the only way to get the most out of Chad is to let Chad be Chad.
“I let him have his own personality because that’s Chad,” Jackson, Chad’s former position coach in Cincinnati, said as in the days before last season’s game between Oakland and New England. “You have to allow him to be him to get the most out of him. That’s what we were able to do and we forged a bond that’s been the same since my time in Cincinnati.”
The first concrete sign of it came from his warning to Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Chad’s plan to be fined a lot in 2012 — presumably after scoring touchdowns and doing things he shouldn’t do.
It continued on Tuesday morning, when Chad Ochojohnson had this to say on Twitter after being told that ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning were “talkin trash” about his tweet to the Commish: “F–k @mikeandmike.”
That’s the Chad we know and love. The loud Chad. The proud Chad. The profane Chad. The Chad who promises to whup your ass and yet never delivers.
So welcome back, Chad. We missed you. And we’re still waiting for that ass whupping you’ll eventually threaten again and never actually administer.