The Ocho has landed in a land where his skills are simply par for the course. In the preseason, Chad "Child Please" Ochocinco was exposed for his lack of blocking and inability to read a playbook. Now, the regular season has brought a lack of production to the table.
Through two games, the Ocho has three catches for 59 yards, an average per catch of 19.7 yards per catch with no touchdowns. This ranks Ochocinco exactly fifth on the team behind more notable Patriots such as Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Add in that Ochocinco was targeted three times in the first game against Miami—catching only one pass—and then had to make the most of two targets for two catches in Week 2 against the San Diego Chargers, he may be heading out of town to join Randy Moss as the next high-profile wide receiver to be dumped by New England.
Consider the following...
As reported on ESPN.com after the Ocho decided to post the following on Twitter, "Just waking up after a late arrival, I've never seen a machine operate like that n person, to see video game numbers put up n person was WOW..."
Chad found himself looking infantile and clearly outclassed by the Patriots after a long tenure with the Bengals. Possibly the Bengals made Ochocinco look too good; or with diminishing skills, the Patriots failed to recognize the steep awe curve he was coming in.
Nevertheless, according to ESPN, Ted Bruschi, of Patriots' legend and a current ESPN analyst, called out Ochocinco on WEEI, saying that he needs to "drop the awe factor" and "stop tweeting and get in your playbook."
For his part, Ochocinco tucked tail and did not fight back, being clearly outclassed by Bruschi in achievement and experience.
The irony is not lost that Ochocinco actually just helped another person's media career at his own expense.
It is only a matter of time before this No. 5 receiver starts complaining about his lack of targets, even though over the first few passes, he has shown some rust and has brought his lack of blocking to the forefront (though he is improving).
However, looking back on Ochocinco's career, it is only a matter of time before he starts to grumble via the media—social or otherwise—to bring his case (i.e., basketcase) to the forefront.
Bill Belichick will not put up with nearly as much from Ochocinco, nor will owner Robert Kraft stand in the way of his legendary coach, unlike Bengals' owner Mike Brown in the way of Marvin Lewis.
On a team where the head coach, quarterback, defensive captain and possibly the top receiver are the voices of the team, Ochocinco is going to quickly move into the oblivion.
Ochocinco has a reputation for being a poor understudy and has clearly shown issues transitioning from numbers to words, as quoted on ESPN.com Boston site: "Toughest part of coming to New England. Just learning the system itself. I come from a number system and everything else here is different."
Not much is different than simply listening to the words and reading the plays. Maybe the Bengals did so poorly and you excelled because they were on a number system.
The last thing the Patriots should have to deal with is a guy who is having trouble listening and comprehending.
Ochocinco likes attention. He needs to tweet when he is outclassed, looking like a spectator in a sport where he is a participant. Or he goes to casinos in his underwear simply because he can.
Me-first leads to team-second, and will lead to Ochocinco cracking up in the background. Maybe a Randy Moss-type press conference in the works soon.
Ochocinco simply is pedestrian. He was chewed out for lack of blocking in the preseason, and this lack of discipline is nothing new.
Errors in route-running and other issues hampered Ochocinco in his later years in Cincinnati. One would expect this only to continue with the learning curve issues.
On a team where all players on the field play an active role, Ochocinco's diva remnants will bubble to surface as he misses the finer points of the game consistently enough to be labeled inconsistent.
With Ochocinco under a three-year, $11.5 million contract that includes a $4.75 million signing bonus accrued annually, along with workout bonuses of $100,000 available in the second and third years, it is only a matter of time before the he becomes too expensive for such little return.
Distraction and cost will drive this under-producer out of town.
Being the No. 3 true receiver on the team, and behind two tight ends with the youth of Julian Edelman and Matt Slater chomping at his heals, Ochocinco will likely find himself unneeded with the twilight of his career passing into the rear view mirror.
With New England regrouping during the bye week—Week 7—expect the Patriots to say goodbye so that Ochocinco and Terrell Owens can have a reunion on Versus or the Home Shopping Network. On second thought, Ochocinco may want to stick with Versus, where selling his act will be easier in the end, and there's no catalog or playbook to read either.
May he join the elite class of athletes cut from professional soccer and football—the exacta of football.