When asked if he'd rather have 100 receptions for the first time in his career or play in the Super Bowl after a statistical shortage with the Patriots, Ochocinco opted for his current situation.
"I'd rather be right here," Ochocinco said. "I've already put up all the numbers. I've already done that. One of the things I that I was really happy about was that this is one of the few times, or really the only time, that I won't be home at the Martin Luther King parade because I'm always home the first week of January. It's so much bigger than what everybody else is thinking about. They're thinking about the individuals. If I would have been thinking like that, I would have got cut Week 3, complaining about the ball. It's been a joy."
Ochocinco spoke to a group of reporters Tuesday at the Patriots' Media Day session at Lucas Oil Stadium, and it was the first group session he's conducted since training camp. Despite his lack of production on the field and his uncharacteristic silence off the field, Ochocinco said he's not struggling emotionally.
"If it was emotionally draining, I think I would have spoke out like I did in the past," Ochocinco said. "I took this as a challenge, as a lesson. I think it was a test from you-know-who upstairs, God. Will he be able to handle himself in different circumstances when he's not that guy, if he's not that main focal point? Will he be able to handle it? And I think I did extremely well."
Ochocinco had career lows with 15 receptions and 276 receiving yards in the regular season, and he hasn't caught a pass since Week 16. He was limited to a single play in the divisional round victory against the Broncos, and he was inactive in the AFC Championship.
Due to his lack of production, Ochocinco was asked if this has been a humbling experience.
"You know how I got here?" Ochocinco responded. "I came from Dade County. This place called Liberty City, where the odds were against me all through life growing up. You think I'm going to complain after all I've been through to get to this point?"