Chad Ochocinco, the wide receiver for the New England Patriots, reality television star and flamboyant personality, has changed his mind about rooming with a season ticket holder for a few weeks until he can find a home of his own. After being criticized widely in the media and by some of the fans for not picking up the Patriots complicated offense quickly enough and being a non-factor on the field, Ochocinco is toning it down .
At practice on August 30, No. 85 said he has eighty-sixed his plan to bunk with a fan. When he arrived in training camp about a month ago after being traded to New England by the Cincinnati Bengals and announced his intention, it received national coverage and the reaction was perceived as something right in character for him. But with Ochocinco only catching two passes for 14 yards and one touchdown in three pre-season games plus dropping a couple of balls placed right in his hands, his act is already wearing a little thin. In New England, the fans accept nothing short of perfection from their Patriots.
Ochocino has admitted that he isn't picking up the schemes as quickly as he'd like, saying he's "only a seven on a 10-point scale". He added that the Bengals employed a numbered system for play calling while the Patriots use verbiage and that once he learns the entirely new language, he'll be the playmaker he once was.
He said he understands that the media has a job to do and asked reporters to "critique the hell out of me", promising to do the same in return. As the season goes on, he may be sorry he issued that invitation. Cincinnati is nothing like New England, where the media spotlight is hot and glaring and reporters and columnists give no quarter.
Also at practice on Tuesday, the Patriots were pleased to welcome back linebackers Brandon Spikes and Dan Fletcher and defensive lineman Mike Wright after protracted absences. None is expected to play in the final pre-season game against the New York Giants on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.
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