|—||Option anxiety was Chad Ochocinco’s real problem in New England | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports|
And there it is. Nothing much to say about it really. He couldn’t get it and the Pats are well prepared to move on without him or what they might’ve hoped he could contribute. Thanks for trying, Chad. Now all I feel is a sense of relief the Ochocinco circus has left Foxboro.
Chad Ochocinco will be out when the Patriots travel to Philly to take on the Eagles. It’s listed as a hamstring but it’s a somewhat suspicious injury as it happened at practice, and no one noticed anything visibly wrong with him.
Could this be a way for the Pats to protect Ocho a bit from the media firestorm that would be sure to hit if, gasp, Chad Ochocinco was actually benched by Bill Belichick, despite being less of a factor than Brandon Tate was last year? It could very well be so.
Ocho no playo special teams, whereas Taylor Price and Tuquan Underwood do. And we know Belichick’s ability to play coy to keep media heat to a minimum.
Regardless, Taylor Price could have an opportunity to show something tomorrow. And whether he does or not could very well affect Chad and his injury.
Ocho-Brady NFL Sound FX.
Ochocinco: What else can I do, I don’t wanna come up short.
Brady: Nothing. You’re doing good. You’re doing good. Just keep fuckin’ playing hard. That’s all I want.
Ah, the bye week. That two week mid-season lull in between games when we the fans are forced to take a mini-football break before the stretch run.
For the players and coaches however it’s a time to get healthy, look at what’s working and what isn’t and set the course that will Hoodie-willing lead to the promise land.
Here are the top five things I’m hoping for over the bye week.
1. Get Healthy - the most obvious one so we’ll lead with it. Along with the significant injuries (Jerod Mayo) there have been plenty of dings through the first six games and this should be a time to get healthy. Guys we most need back at 100%:
- Jerod Mayo
- Albert Haynesworth
- Julian Edelman
- Sebastian Vollmer
- Ras-I Dowling
Getting Josh Barrett, Patrick Chung, Leigh Bodden, Aaron Hernandez and Matt Light some time off to get over their lingering injuries should also provide a big boost.
2. Devin McCourty get your mojo back - I’m not sure if McCourty is suffering from a sophomore slump because he’s just not playing well or if teams have a sense of how to pick on him that they didn’t have last year. I hope it’s the former and not the latter because that’s correctable. McCourty didn’t really start to come on until late October last year anyway, let’s hope the same thing happens this year. The Pats need him to step up in a major way.
3. Extend Wes Welker and/or Jerod Mayo - why not take the extra time to lock up some of the vital pieces of the puzzle. If not Mayo or Welker how about Andre Carter, who’s only one a one year deal, or Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who should be a fairly easy deal to get done now before he breaks 1000 yards again. Of course knowing the Pats they’ll probably start the contract extensions with Gary Guyton. Ugh.
4. New tweaks for offense - Call it an off game for Tom Brady but not counting the final drive it seemed like taking away Wes Welker for the most part was a fairly effective way to slow down the Pats offense. Teams will see what the Cowboys did, and granted they might not be able to execute it, but the offense looked very much stoppable for much of last Sunday’s game. I’m not a huge “blueprint to stop the Pats offense” guy, but they cannot become over-reliant on Welker. The Patriots must stay one step ahead and figure out how to better protect Welker from coverage, while also incorporating their running backs more into the pass game. Kevin Faulk could provide a major boost in this area.
5. Figure out a way to get Chad Ochocinco more involved in the offense before the Boston sports media combusts - Who cares if the offense has consistently moved the ball and put up points without Chad, he’s a big name and if he doesn’t have a break out game soon he just might overtake the Red Sox as the lead story on all sports programming.
Great teams find a way to win when they’re not playing their best, and that’s just what we saw out of the Patriots against the Cowboys. For much of the game it looked like it was shaping up to be a cliched Patriots loss.
You know, either they were down late or didn’t have enough of a lead that their defense could protect. But finally it felt like an old school Patriots win. Key defensive stop. Clutch Brady drive. Game over.
That’s why I work up this morning feeling so good. Of course then I check the interwebs and all I see are questions about Ochocinco, and how even rumored interest in Brandon Lloyd is an indictment of Chad even though Lloyd’s experience in the McDaniels offense would make him worth at least a phone call.
I’d just like to go on record as saying I will not care about Ochocinco until we need him. I love the Branch-Welker-Hernando-Gronk offense and I don’t see why anyone would want to pull one of those guys off the field for Chad.
In Welker and Branch you have two of Tom Brady’s all-time three most trusted WRs (Troy Brown being number three) and in Gronk and Hernando you have two of the most diverse match-up nightmares ever to wear the flying elvis. With those four guys on the field, and how quickly they can operate with Tom Brady, it’s an extremely tough offense to defend.
Chad was never brought in to be a “deep threat”, he was brought in as insurance if Branch or Welker got dinged. Now there may come a time when the Pats are down by 10-plus points and they need to go to a spread attack to score points quickly through the air. That’s when we could need Chad, but for now, at 5-1 with the second best record in the NFL, I’m happy to give him as long as he needs.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?