Chad Ochocinco will likely achieve his childhood dream of playing for the Miami Dolphins, but first he needs to make the team.
But it appears that won't be too hard to do
considering his impressive showing during his first OTA practice on
Wednesday, which promoted starting cornerback Sean Smith to tweet:
"(Forget) what you heard. Ochocinco still got it."
Vontae Davis later chimed in on twitter, rating
Ochocinco a 10 on a 10-point scale, then adding a disclaimer, "For not
knowing playbook he still got it."
Ochocinco, who was waived by the New England Patriots last week, will compete for one of the five or six receiver
spots on the 53-man roster. But there's also a chance he could earn a
Ochocinco had a disappointing season with the
Patriots last year, catching just 15 passes for 276 yards and one
touchdown in 15 games. In the postseason, he only played in the Super
Bowl and had one catch in that game.
But New England's offense primarily fed Wes Welker
and the team's two elite tight ends. With the Patriots, Ochocinco was
the team's fourth or fifth option.
"I definitely feel like he can be a help," Reggie Bush continued. "From a veteran standpoint, with his wisdom and
knowledge, he can help."
General manager Jeff Ireland previously
acknowledged that receiver is one of the team's thinnest units, and it
doesn't help matters that Brian Hartline, a projected starter, is
battling an undisclosed leg issue.
Hartline has sat out most of the team's OTA
sessions, and missed this week's practices because of a medical issue
the team won't disclose.
The Dolphins were also hopeful that at least one
of the young receivers - Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore,
Julius Pruitt, or one of the five rookies - would step to the
forefront, establishing himself as a potential playmaker. But that
hasn't happened in the weeks leading up to next month's start of
Naanee Wasn't The Answer
At the moment, Legedu Naanee, a sixth-year veteran
the Dolphins signed to a one-year, minimum contract this offseason, is
one of the team's top three receivers, and biggest playmakers. And
there's a big dropoff after him.
That's why the Dolphins signed Ochocinco, who
caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns during his 11
"It's not an indictment of any of the (receivers)
at this point in time," Philbin said. "I don't think it is any
different than any position. You always evaluate your roster. Jeff
(Ireland) and his guys turn over every stone and they look for ways to
improve the club."
As far as assessing the rest of Miami's receivers,
Philbin has consistently raised concerns about the unit's struggles
catching the ball consistently, and the struggles some youngsters are
having learning the new west coast offense, and playing at a quicker
"It's competitive, at times," Philbin said of the
competition during OTAs."You'd like for some players to make it easy,
and distinguish themselves, maybe make the picture a little bit clearer
at certain times. We've had guys who had some real productive stretches.
"The consistency of catching the ball is something
we're working on, and are a little bit concerned about ... We
have to catch the ball more consistently on every position on offense."
Dolphins Hope Chad Still Has "It"
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