Chad Ochocinco: Pats’ secret weapon or the Super bust?

Chad Ochocinco was released by the Patriots Thursday.
GETTY IMAGES

Chad Ochocinco is no stranger to Super Bowl week. He’s covered it through his own network — the Ochocinco News Network — for a couple years.

That was the old Chad — the one who caught a lot of balls, talked a lot of trash, and lost a lot of games.

Now, he’s back at the Super Bowl, but for the first time in his career, he’s not asking the questions (Maurice Jones-Drew has this year’s honors for OCNN), he’s answering them.

 He’s also not producing the way most people thought he would when the Patriots traded for him prior to the start of the season. But give Ochocinco credit for one thing — he’s had the right attitude about it.

“The winning experience is always great,” he said at Super Bowl Media Day yesterday in Indianapolis. “Whether you have a big role, small role or no role at all, that’s awesome. Everything this year is something that I’ve never been used to, and what I’ve had this year is something I can grow accustomed to.”

On the season, Ochocinco had just 15 receptions for 276 yards and one touchdown. He was supposed to be the third receiver that would open up the field, but that wasn’t really the case, as he went numerous games without making a single catch.

But in the end, Ochocinco didn’t beg to play for the Pats to be the featured wideout. He wanted a chance to win a Super Bowl. And he’s never been closer.

“I’d rather be right here,” Ochocinco said. “I’ve already put up all the numbers. I’ve already done that. One of the things that I was really happy about was that this is one of the few times, or really the only time, that I won’t be home at the Martin Luther King parade because I’m always home the first week of January. It’s so much bigger than what everybody else is thinking about.”

Asked whether or not he thinks he’ll have a bigger role with an injured Rob Gronkowski, Ochocinco took the high road. But tight end Aaron Hernandez knows how huge “Gronk” is to the offense, and those shoes will be hard to fill if it comes down to that.

“[Gronkowski’s] one of, basically the main reason why we succeed so well in this offense,” Hernandez said. “He’s such a huge weapon and causes so many mismatches it makes it hard for defenses to focus on one player. Obviously if he’s 100 percent, that’s what we need.”

Ocho-stinko

Chad Ochocinco had just 15 receptions in 2011, the lowest of his career. In his rookie season in 2001, the then- Chad Johnson hauled in 28 balls.
   
Prime years In just his second season, Ochocinco caught 69 balls for 1,166 yards. It was the first of six straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons for No. 85.
   
The college years Ochocinco played at Oregon State and was a relatively little-known commodity before being drafted in the early second-round of the NFL draft.



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