Chad Ochocinco is a Miami Dolphin. If this was 2007, I’d be ecstatic to have one of the best wide receivers in the game join the team. However, it’s 2012, Ochocinco is 34 and he’s lost a step to say the least. After only putting up 276 yards and one TD in his short tenure with the New England Patriots, he was cut by the team last week. Most league sources attributed his struggles with his inability to learn the offense and get in sync with QB Tom Brady during the season. Chad rarely saw the field, and when he did, he just looked lost.
Now he’ll have to do it all over again in Miami.
After signing with the team on June 11, Chad participated in his OTA the next day, and he turned the heads of two members of the Miami secondary. Cornerback Vontae Davis said via Twitter: “How (@Ochocinco) looked today? 1-10 scale. 10 for not knowing playbook he still got it”. Cornerback Sean Smith also added via Twitter: “Lol oh yea F what ya heard, 85 (@Ochocinco) still got it”.
Perhaps he still does.
Maybe Chad still does have some gas left in his tank. He’s still physically solid, and although he’s lost a step, is still fast. It’s his mind I’m worried about. Can he learn Mike Sherman’s offense after failing to learn Josh McDaniel’s in New England? Can he line up where he’s supposed to without having his fellow receivers remind him where to stand? These are the things that Chad Ochocinco is going to have to prove going into training camp. If he makes it that far.
Chad signed an incentive-laden one-year deal worth $2 million, $925,000 of which is guaranteed if he makes the 53-man roster It’s a low risk deal for the Dolphins, who could cut Ochocinco if he doesn’t prove to be worth their time.
If Chad is able to grasp the offense and get in tune with the starting QB, I believe he will be on the roster week one. The Dolphins are starved for talent at the wide receiver position after trading away Brandon Marshall to the Bears. Devone Bess, arguably one of the best slot receivers in the NFL, is their only real target. Other names include fourth year man Brian Hartline, Roberto Wallace, Legedu naanee, and rookies B.J. Cunningham and Jeff Fuller.
Chad Ochocinco may not be the player he was a few seasons ago, but he’s still a good receiver who can make an impact if his mind is right. He can still catch the ball, stretch the field, and most importantly get into the end zone. He’ll have until September 2 when the rosters get cut down to 53 players to prove it. Besides if he doesn’t, there’s always Terrell Owens.
Welcome to Miami, Chad.