Ochocinco makes it all worthwhile
|08.21.09 at 12:37 am ET|
FOXBOROUGH – Only one person in all of the National Football League could have made a 7-6 preseason game in mid-August worth watching.
Chad Ochocinco has been many things over the course of his nine year career with the Cincinnati Bengals. On Thursday night, he was part star receiver, part placekicker, part international soccer fan and part boxer.
But most of all, in Cincinnati’s 7-6 snoozer over the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, he was 100 percent entertainer.
It was his extra point late in the second quarter that was the difference in a game that otherwise would have been remembered only for Tom Brady taking his first serious hit after reconstructive surgery on his left knee.
When J.T. O’Sullivan found Chris Henry on a 24-yard go route on 4th and 18 with 1:55 remaining in the second quarter, the Bengals decided to kick an extra point and not go for the two-point conversion, even though their kicker Shayne Graham was out with a tender groin.
Who Dey turn to? None other than No. 85, who booted so well, it almost cleared the net behind the north end zone.
“It was easy,” Ochocinco said. “It was like the day I lost my virginity. Nothing different”
Only the man who said after the game that he plans to fight WBC Welterweight champ Andre Berto after the season in another phase of his professional career could even attempt that statement with a straight face.
But seriously, Ocho credited his boxing skills with honing his timing and release ability off the line of scrimmage so far this season.
So far, the numbers say he’s knocking out the competition.
He caught three balls for 69 yards on Thursday. That was one week after he caught two balls for 73 yards against the Saints.
“You haven’t seen anything,” Ocho declared. “Let me tell you what the preseason is. I’m taking all the hate I’ve received from the media. I have it all balled up. You know how you go to the movies and there are previews, I’m using the preseason as a preview of what’s to come.”
He said he had a message for Patriots cornerbacks at the beginning of Thursday night’s game.
“I told the defensive backs as they were running out onto the field today, ‘Don’t take this off because I’m coming out here and going full speed, going 100 percent.’ They obliged,” Ochocinco said. “I’m going to continue to carry the same mentality throughout the preseason.”
And just maybe by the end of the preseason, he can focus on just his catching and boxing skills, and of course being an all-around great entertainer.