Chad Ochocinco played just seven snaps on Sunday against the Cowboys. Whatever the reason — be it formations, game plan, poor performance or anything in between — Ochocinco has underwhelmed since joining the Patriots almost three months ago.
Don’t count Tom Brady among the worried.
“Look, he’s working hard at it,” said Brady in his weekly appearance on The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show on WEEI. “We’re all working hard at it. I’d say there’s definitely a lot of improvement that we’ve made and that we’re going to continue to make. I have a lot of trust and confidence in him. I don’t lack for that at all.”
That trust has manifested itself in just nine receptions for 136 yards, but with seven receptions for first downs and several inside of two minutes, Brady may not be bluffing. In fact, the Patriots were in a two tight end set on 60 of their 74 offensive snaps according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, so the opportunity really wasn’t there for Ochocinco to have a big game against the Cowboys.
Brady was quick to add, also, that the gameplan changes week to week, and any game could be the game for Ochocinco.
“How it turns out when we play Pittsburgh, I have no idea,” said Brady. “It will probably be pretty different there, too. Every single person that’s on the team is expected to contribute. Like I said, I have tons of confidence in Chad.”
Of course, with the rumblings around the league that the Patriots expressed interest in Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd, it seems not everyone shares that level of confidence in Ochocinco.
“We got Deion [Branch] last year at the trade [deadline] and he came in and did pretty well,” said Brady, adding, “A lot of guys switch teams at this time of year. It’s just part of the process of the league. I think the players, we just have to do our job. That’s what we need to do, and we all need to do a better job of that as we go forward.”