Saying Chad Ochocinco is having a disappointing preseason is an understatement.
In two games (he was held out of the first exhibition match) he’s been limited to two catches and 14 yards and one touchdown. He was also flagged for pass interference against Detroit (a ten yard penalty) so it’s like he’s netted only four yards.
QB Tom Brady says Ocho’s poor performance is based on a lack of familiarity with team’s system. “He’s been frustrated because he doesn’t feel he’s been himself, because he’s still thinking a lot about what he needs to do, rather than react” Brady told WEEI yesterday.
Ochocinco spent his first ten seasons with the lowly Bengals and earlier today told reporters he’s comfortable with his progress. “I’m doing just fine. I’m not sure why or how it is, but coming from any place where you’ve been ten years, to come here and learn the verbiage and learn as much as I have the past three weeks, he said. “I’ve done extremely well. It’s been fun, it’s been enjoyable.”
There’s been a lot of comparisons, especially on talk radio, between Ocho and Joey Galloway (I’ll forgive you if you forgot Galloway’s stay in New England; he caught seven passes as a Patriot before being cut three games into the 2009 season). But there’s really no comparing the two. Galloway was 38 when he joined Brady’s bunch, Ocho is only 32. Galloway had 70 catches in his two seasons before coming to New England, Ocho had 67 last year alone.
Another comparison is Randy Moss. And while Ocho’s closer talent-wise to Moss than Galloway, it’s still not fair to link the two. Moss famously said “I play when I wanna play” and had reputation for not trying on plays. Ocho’s biggest knock? He likes to tweet. So what? Vince Wilfork is big on Twitter. So are Zoltan Mesko, Devin McCourty and about two dozen other players.
So cut the man some slack New England. It’s only the preseason.