Ochocinco was the Dolphins AFC East rival last season, playing for the New England Patriots. While the Patriots did make it to the Super Bowl, Chad had very little to do with that success. He caught a career low 15 passes, amounting to less than 300 total yards, which was also a career low.
With Miami recently passing on Plaxico Burress, who put up solid numbers last year, this signing does come as a surprise. After his performance on the NFL’s biggest stage, Burress sat out for two seasons while serving a prison sentence for illegally possessing a firearm, but still was able to sign a one year deal with the New York Jets.
It became clear that Burress was no longer the speed demon he once was, but he retooled his game and became Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’ best option in the red zone, catching 8 touchdown passes. In contrast, Ochocino was unable to adapt to the system in New England, and was unable to put himself in a position to make plays, often dropping the passes that did come his way.
Both players have been known to become distractions, but based on what each player put on display last season, it would seem that Burress would be the best bet for the money. Apparently, the Dolphins feel otherwise.
The Dolphins need help at the Wide receiver position, having traded away 2011 Pro Bowl MVP Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears, and passing on a #1 receiver with the 8th pick in this year’s draft. Dropped balls have been a major concern for the Dolphins as OTAs pick up speed. Coach Joe Philbin pointed out the need for improvement on Monday, saying “We have to catch the ball more consistently at every position on offense, because it is not quite where it needs to be.”
Chad Ochocinco could prove to be the answer they need; after all, he is a 6 time Pro Bowler with something to prove. It could be that the playbook in New England was just too much for him and with so many weapons at his disposal, Tom Brady may have looked more often to the players he was comfortable with.
One good sign that came from Ochocinco’s stint as a Patriot is the fact that he never expressed his frustration in a distracting manner, and let’s be real, Chad Ochocinco is one of the biggest distractions in the league. Whether this silence was due to Ochocinco’s personal growth and maturity, or simply a result of Coach Bill Belichick‘s standard for no nonsense, remains to be seen.
One sure bet about this signing; HBO’s Hard Knocks: Miami Dolphins just became Must See TV.
Jeff Everette is a featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, or his facebook page Jeff Everette- RantSports.com, for all of his latest articles, opinions, and rants.
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