09 June 2012
Let me go on record by saying that I think he's a good receiver and I think he still can be somewhere. Also, let me go on record as saying that through interactions with him on Twitter and Facebook, he is not only a loud-mouth, self-absorbed guy, he actually says some things that are kind, that are uplifting, that are inspiring and that are genuine. He's not what the media makes him out to be in my experience at all.
All that said, I still don't understand why the Patriots signed him in the first place. When they did, I thought that they would use him as a defensive distraction meaning he would go in on plays, the defense would have to expend a man to cover him and even if they didn't throw to him he would open the field for others. They didn't do this. Then I thought, maybe they will use him as a deep ball guy. They didn't do this either. In fact, they didn't do much of anything with him at all.
I recall entire games where he didn't play a single down. The entire season his number of plays can probably be counted on fingers. So, why was he there at all? Did he come in and say the wrong thing to someone? Did he come in and do the wrong thing? Did he come in and just not fit in? Why would you bring a guy like him in and then almost never use him and then cut him in the off season? I just do not get it.
Bill Belichick is one of those coaches who always seems to have a plan. The average football watcher and for that matter the other team may not have a clue what it is, but it's always there. It always manifests itself at some point. But this experiment yielded no such plan. There was no A-HA moment when fans were like, so that's why Ochocinco is here. There was no great reveal. No shock and awe. Just confusion and questions.
Now Ochocinco is no longer a Patriot. It makes the team no better or worse as his being there had no impact at all on how the game was played. The questions still remain as to why he was there in the first place and we may never know the answer. As for Ochocinco, I am sure he will land on his feet somewhere else with a team that will hopefully make use of him. For now though, it's so long, farewell....