Chad Ochocinco: Is He To Blame For Becoming Irrelevant NFL Wideout?

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2010

Chad Ochocinco: Is He To Blame For Becoming Irrelevant NFL Wideout?

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Chad Ochocinco was on the verge of tears following the Bengals' loss to the Steelers Monday night.

    The artist formerly known as Chad Johnson was visibly upset after he was largely ignored until late in the game by Carson Palmer.

    Meanwhile, his best friend was getting plenty of love.

    T.O. was targeted 14 times by Palmer, and responded with another huge game including two touchdown catches.

    Despite being targeted seven times, Ochocinco didn't catch a pass until the final seconds of the game.

    Don't look now, but the former All-Pro is on the verge of becoming just another aging NFL wide receiver who gets more attention than he deserves.

    In order to get to the bottom of the budding tragedy in Cincinnati, let's take a look at who is responsible for No. 85's demise.

Blame the Baby No. 5: He Hasn't Put In the Work

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Aside from undergoing some sort of magical anti-aging treatment, it might be tough to blame Ochocinco for getting older.

    At the same time, it's easy to blame him for not doing enough to remain at the top of his game as he ages.

    With increased years should come an increased dedication to training and keeping his body in fantastic shape.

    It's tough to do that given his crowded schedule, but T.O. has managed to find a way.


Child Please No 5: The Bumbling Bengals Ruin Everything

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Anyone who has watched the Bengals this season knows they are absolutely overrun with problems.

    Those issues include a wounded defense incapable of getting stops, an ineffective running game that allows opponents to stay in nickel packages and a quarterback who can't take care of the ball.

    Let's face it, there's not much room for success amidst the chaos in Cincinnati.

    Ochocinco isn't the only Bengal who is dealing with a decline in production.

Blame the Baby No. 4: Chad's Not Showing Any Effort

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    If there's one thing Terrell Owens will not be accused of doing, it's failing to give 100 percent when he steps on the field.

    The same can't be said for fellow wide receiver divas Randy Moss and Chad Ochocinco.

    It's difficult to quantify effort with absolute certainty, but Ochocinco doesn't appear to be running his routes with much conviction.

    Either that, or he is really slowing down.

Child Please No. 4: Marvin Lewis Has Lost the Team

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Thanks in large part to that big mess in Dallas, Marvin Lewis has avoided a great deal of criticism on a national level.

    Like the Cowboys, the Bengals are probably too talented to have now lost five straight games.

    An NFL coach is supposed to find ways to get his starts more involved, and Lewis and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski have completely failed to get Ochocinco and Cedric Benson going.

Blame the Baby No. 3: Chad Doesn't Really Care Anymore

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Don't be fooled by those watery eyes—Ochocinco has always been a great actor.

    Maybe he doesn't even really care how much he is producing.

    He lives a charmed life, has plenty of money and enough on his resume to keep playing for a few more years.

    Making tough catches in traffic isn't really a priority at this point.

Child Please No. 3: Blame Society

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Ochocinco wants nothing more than to remain relevant, no matter how he is doing on the field.

    As soon as T.O. arrived in Cincinnati, he immediately became the biggest story in town.

    Suddenly, nobody was paying much attention to arguably the best receiver in team history.

    Everybody loves the new guy.

Blame the Baby No. 2: Not Exactly Carson Palmer's Best Friend

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Ochocinco has clashed with Palmer numerous times during their careers in Cincinnati, only to reconcile eventually.

    There's no question the relationship has always been a bit strained.

    Why not reach out and try to patch things up behind close doors instead of going to the media?

    Palmer isn't exactly the Jeff George of NFL quarterbacking, so it would likely be possible to make amends without too much trouble.

    Make no mistake, Ochocinco is in no hurry to swallow his pride.

Child Please No. 2: Carson Palmer Needs a Wake-Up Call

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    For whatever reason, Carson Palmer has made some of the worst mistakes at the wrong times.

    Thanks in large part to Terrell Owens, his yardage and touchdown numbers are still fairly impressive.

    But let's face it, his tendency to turn the ball over is absolutely killing the Bengals' chances.

    Luckily for Carson, younger brother Jordan is his backup.

    Don't expect Marvin Lewis to give the starting quarterback the hook anytime soon.

    Unless Carson Palmer begins using the whole field, Ochocinco's numbers aren't likely to improve.

Blame the Baby No. 1: Enough With the Reality Show That Is His Life

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    It's not easy to focus on preparing for an NFL season when you are spending your days holding an NCAA tournament style competition in hopes of finding true love.

    Especially when that competition consists of only about two women worthy of making the final four.

    And while going through all the heartache and the pain in front of the cameras, it was revealed No. 85 was actually involved with another VH1 reality show star.

    Ochocinco's relationship with Evelyn Lozada has added another layer to his complex life.

    Don't be surprised to see a Basketball Wives and The Ultimate Catch crossover episode next year on VH1.

    Enough with the reality shows, Ocho.

Child Please: Terrell Owens Is Responsible For All the Pain

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    Ochocinco is acting like a teenager who is jealous of his friend.

    His bestie T.O.  is better at sports, has bigger muscles and a better taste in girls.

    We've all been there.

    But let's face it, he has reason to be bitter.

    Owens has become the clear-cut No. 1 option for the Bengals and is enjoying one of the best years of his entire NFL career.

    If not for Owens' presence, Ochocinco would be leading the Bengals in receptions and perfectly content.

    Friendship can be so fickle.

Conclusion: Who Is To Blame For Ochocincos Fall From Grace?

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Look into that mirror, Ochocinco, the culprit is right in front of you.

    Friendship is about respect, and there is no question Ochocinco had little respect fro Terrell Owens' talents.

    If he had known Owens would be good enough to perform at an All-Pro level, would Ochocinco really have welcomed his friend to Cincy with open arms?

    Not a chance.

    It all comes down to ego.

    Ochocinco's is clearly too big to share the spotlight with anyone.

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