He was targeted four times but didn't record a single catch during the Pats' loss in Detroit. He dropped a pass that nearly led to a turnover, and he was targeted during Tom Brady's only interception of the game. In two preseason games, Ochocinco has two receptions (eight targets), 14 yards and one touchdown.
After he was so hard on himself following the Patriots' victory against the Buccaneers, it appeared that Ochocinco would have an opportunity to break out against the Lions. However, when the Patriots tried to go down the field, the offensive line broke down, which led to a change in their game plan.
While that played a role in Ochocinco's statistical shortage, it didn't make up for the fact that he still hasn't made a massive impact for the New England offense. Obviously, it's not the end of the world if Ochocinco isn't performing at a high level in the preseason, but the lack of progress has been noticeable.
Brady was asked about Ochocinco in his postgame news conference.
"We communicate quite a bit," Brady said. "It's what it takes. He hasn't had the luxury of an offseason program that a lot of guys get, so we're trying to really cram a lot of stuff in. He's very receptive to it. He's very competitive. He wants to do the right thing. He wants to do it well, as we all do. That's what we're working toward. I wish I could say we could go out there, and everything would be perfect every single game that we play, and every snap, and every drive we'd score a touchdown, and we'd never have negative plays. But look, it's football.
"When you make a bad play, you've got to overcome it. There's resiliency that comes into this game and mental toughness. Those are all things we're trying to build on as a team, trying to figure out what kind of team you're at. When things don't go, they don't start well, well, we've got to figure out a way to turn it around. When practices don't go well at the start of practice, you've got to find a way to turn those and make them into good practices. And you string those good practices together, and you're going to have a good week. But if one bad drive leads to a bad quarter, which leads to a bad half, which leads to a bad game, you're never going to win games because you're always going to have adversity in this game.
"We've always got to find ways individually, collectively, as an offense and defensive units, and ultimately as a team for us to strive to perform at a high level. And if it doesn't go well to try even harder and turn it around, so that's really what we're going to work toward. We've got a few weeks until the opener. Hopefully we make a lot of improvements. We've got a big week coming up this week to see what we can do against the Giants."
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