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Peter King on M&M: Chad Ochocinco will perform before end of season

11.11.11 at 2:05 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined Mut & Merloni Friday at noon for his weekly appearance. In addition to discussing the Penn State scandal, King talked about the upcoming Patriots-Jets game, as well as his thoughts on struggling wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.

It has been a disappointing year for Ochocinco, to say the least. The Patriots wideout has just nine catches in eight games so far this season and has been criticized for not learning the New England offense quickly enough. With the cut of Albert Haynesworth earlier this week, many are wondering if Ochocinco is next.

But King thinks that the Ochocinco situation cannot be compared to Haynesworth and that No. 85 will have a breakout performance before the end of the season.

“We can all say whatever we want, that it’s ridiculous that Ochocino has nine catches in eight games and he just hasn’t been the answer that they thought he would be. Well, no kidding,” King said. “But I think the one thing you can’t say is that he’s not giving an effort. It’s just not working out right now. I might be wrong about this, but I think it’s going to work out before the end of the year and I do think that at some point [Tom Brady and Ochocinco] are going to get on the same page.”

Brady, Ochocinco and the rest of the offense are going up against the Jets this Sunday night in a showdown for first place in the AFC East, or at least a tie for first place. The Jets defense allowed the Bills just 11 points last week in what King called a “championship defensive game” by New York. King said that the Patriots defense will have to put more pressure on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez if New England wants to win on Sunday.

“One of the problems that I see for New England in this game is they have simply not put enough pressure on the quarterback,” King said. “And I think they’re going to need to do that in this game, because otherwise the receivers are talented enough, [Plaxico] Burress and [Santonio] Holmes, to make plays down the field against that secondary.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, including King’s opinions on the Penn State scandal, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

More on Ochocinco: “NFL Films captured Ochocinco going to the sidelines after he was overthrown at about the 5-yard line [last week against the Giants] and he basically said to Tom, ‘Hey, I don’t know what to do. What do I do? I didn’t want to cut the route short.’ And Brady said, ‘Hey, listen, you’re fine. Just keep playing hard. Just keep playing hard.’ And you can tell that’s a little bit of a different story than I’m sure the Haynesworth story was. … He’s had too many great days in the NFL, Ochocinco has, to think that he’s not going to be able to come back. Again, it’s probably a little Pollyannaish to think that, but I kind of think you’re going to see a good game or two from him down the stretch.”

On Tom Brady’s health: “I see him healthy. I don’t see anything wrong with him. It looks like he’s moving well when you watch him play. You don’t see him reaching for his shoulder or his elbow.”

On Albert Haynesworth signing with the Bucaneers: “I talked to Mark Dominik, their general manager, yesterday and he will play Sunday. But they have a desperate need, they’re down two defensive tackles, including Gerald McCoy, who’s gone for the year. If you’re the Bucs, I understand why they did this, they have tons of cap room and this is an $88,000- a-week player. He’s a rental player. And if at the end of the year, he plays well, they’ll probably bring him back next year. But I find it extremely hard to believe, when he gave such a weak effort on his last few plays against the Giants. And the play in which he kind of got knocked over, it looked to me ‘€¦ that he wasn’t giving a full effort. If you’re going to question how much effort you’re going to get from a player, I understand why you’re going to cut him.”

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco, Peter King, Tom Brady
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