On Friday PFT reported that former Patriots playbook savant Chad Ochocinco would be working out for the Dolphins after being cut by the Patriots. Here’s my take on how the events might just unfold.
If I can be perfectly frank here: I never hated Chad. I gave that man a benefit of a doubt that would go down in the benefit of doubt giving hall of fame. I saw him put the work in. I saw him in training camp hanging around in Brady’s back pocket. I saw him stay late after practice. I saw him reach out to Brady and run route after route after route with him when everyone else had left the field. I saw Ocho squash every distracting social media tendency of his to try and fit in. I even saw him separate from defenders on the field.
And I just…don’t… get it. I just don’t get how a guy who, for everything I saw, put the work in couldn’t figure out how to exist in this offense: an offense so good it could survive it’s highest profile member being a complete non-factor.
The most telling piece of evidence in this entire situation has got to be Tiquan Underwood, a “God bless him he tries” type of non-talent, coming in mid-season and picking up the playbook in a week. Belichick wasn’t even disguising the fact that he was bringing Underwood in to Bobby Hill Ocho. You’d see a pass go Ocho’s way, and he’d be in the wrong spot. The very next play, in comes Underwood to drop a wide open pass. You’d see Ocho take the field and be lost 2 plays into a no-huddle sequence…. Ocho takes the bench and in comes Underwood to let a pass bounce off his flat-top. Underwood had 3 receptions for 30 yards on the year and for the life of me I don’t remember a single one.
Chad, if you’re reading this: I stood by you, dude. I stood by you from training camp to the Super Bowl and told myself every single week that this was your week. I haven’t stood by a failed Boston athlete since John Smoltz’s Owen-Hart-esque collapse with the Red Sox (and I followed Smoltzy from his rookie year in Atlanta). Best of luck, dude. But I’m worried about Ocho selling our secrets like I’m worried about Charlie Weiss giving out directions to the salad bar.