Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien still stand behind wide receiver Chad Ochocinco despite his limited production through six games.
Ochocinco is fifth on the team in receptions (nine), targets (15) and receiving yards (136). He was held without a catch Sunday against the Cowboys for the first time since the 2009 season finale when he was covered by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Those are the only two games in which he's been held without a reception since the start of the 2003 season. Sunday marked the sixth time in his 10-plus seasons he was held without a catch.
Those in Foxboro don't appear to be worried, though.
"Ocho is progressing every week," O'Brien said. "He's done a really good job at practice, and when he's been in certain parts of games, he's produced — two-minute drives at the end of halves and things. We're happy with where Ocho is right now. Again, we have a lot of guys that contribute, and this is a unique place. We've got a lot of guys who contribute, and some guys in certain games contributing more than others, and at some point in time, we're going to need everybody to contribute. That's kind of where it is right now, and Ocho is probably in that category, and really working hard to keep producing and eventually help us in different ways."
No one has said anything but great things about Ochocinco's work in practice since he arrived in New England in July, but he was acquired to provide a boost as a third wide receiver on game days.
To Ochocinco's defense, the Patriots haven't exactly needed him to thrive on offense, and quarterback Tom Brady has four high-level weapons at his disposal in wide receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Aside from Hernandez's knee injury that sidelined him for two weeks, the four of those guys hardly ever come off the field.
So again, they're continuing to preach patience.
"We're happy with what Chad has done for us," Caserio said. "He's probably one of our best practice players. He goes out there. He works hard, practices hard. He's out there on the field. He competes. He's made plays when he's had the opportunity. We're six games in. It's a long season, so we're happy that Chad is on the team."