Chad Ochocinco Could Fit in New England If He Embraces ‘Patriot Way,’ Accepts Lesser Role


January 26, 2011

Chad Ochocinco Could Fit in New England If He Embraces 'Patriot Way,' Accepts Lesser Role If Chad Ochocinco would be committed to honoring the "Patriot Way," he would be a valuable addition to New England's offense.

Obviously, the intrigue surrounding a possible marriage between Ochocinco and the Patriots has a lot to do with his popularity and vivacious personality, as well as the talent that he's still got on the field. Ochocinco and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick have had a friendship for about four years, and their public admiration for one another has led many to believe the pair could one day link up in New England.

First, Belichick would have to utilize that friendship to ensure Ochocinco would be a proper fit for the offense. (Although, in the interest of being factually correct, the first thing that really has to happen would be the Bengals parting ways with Ochocinco, which is a real possibility this offseason.)

While Ochocinco would have to temper himself with his public appearances, Belichick has already said he appreciates the way the wide receiver knows how to have fun with the game. However, there's a difference between appreciating it from afar and up close and personal, so that would be something that might need some discussion.

The biggest concern would be the way Ochocinco fits in the New England offense, which didn't get much production out of its third wide receiver this season. If Ochocinco is willing to play a complementary role to Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, the two sides might be on to something. But if Ochocinco expects to be Tom Brady's primary target, it won't work at all.

Brady's chemistry with Ochocinco would be another concern. Brady was at his best in 2010 when he commanded a balanced offense with total efficiency in the short and intermediate passing game. But in 2009 and early 2010, Brady suffered when he tried too hard to force the ball to Randy Moss, and that's when the Patriots struggled the most. While Ochocinco would have to adapt to New England's style, it's just as important that Brady doesn't revert into those old trends with a once-dominant wide receiver.

Ochocinco, who turned 33 this month, could stretch the field and hurt defenses with the deep ball during his prime, but he'd need to be a possession receiver to best appease Brady and the Patriots.

If all of these things add up — and it's a lengthy list — Ochocinco could be the right fit in New England.

If the Bengals cut ties with Chad Ochocinco, should the Patriots go after him? Leave your thoughts below.

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