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Ochocinco gets his wish in joining the Patriots

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted July 29, 2011 @ 11:40 a.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Back in January, Chad Ochocinco made news with a tweet (shocking, I know) about his affinity for Bill Belichick.

Six months later, his dream is a reality, as the Patriots traded a fifth-round pick in 2012 and a sixth-rounder in 2013 to take the receiver off Marvin Lewis' hands.

This move came just hours after the Pats traded for Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth. Suddenly, a locker room that needed to rid itself of Randy Moss a year ago has added two big personalities. Who said the Jets have to be the colorful team in the AFC East?

More importantly, for the Patriots, they got the receiver they were looking for. Ochocinco takes an already high-octane offense and makes it arguably the best in the NFL.

The PFW Spin

When the Patriots first traded Moss and replaced him with Deion Branch, there was a fair amount of chatter about who would be the team's new deep threat. The hope was that Brandon Tate could step in, but the speedster has yet to materialize as a stretch-the-field receiver.

With Branch, Wes Welker and a pair of athletic tight ends, the Patriots adjusted the offense and stomped all over their competition in the second half of the year. Suddenly, the need for a big-time receiver had been forgotten.

Until the playoffs, when the Pats lost to the Jets.

Getting Ochocinco wasn't a panic move in reaction to the loss to the Jets, but it was clear in that game that to get past their rival, the Pats could use a receiver that could create separation against great cover corners and make plays. Ochocinco isn't necessarily the deep threat that Moss was, but he stretches the field horizontally and will divert attention away from where the Patriots loved to attack last season — the middle of the field.

If the Jets get Nnamdi Asomugha, the Patriots will face him and Darrelle Revis twice a year. Having Ochocinco completely changes the Pats' outlook for those matchups. Same goes for the other top defenses in the AFC — those of the Ravens and Steelers. If defensive coordinators thought it was difficult to adjust to what Tom Brady and the offense did last year, now add Ochocinco to the mix.

And Patriots fans shouldn't have to worry about his, er, antics. Ochocinco has a ton of respect for Belichick. He'll keep tweeting, but don't expect him to call out Revis before games or go bull riding in Boston. Plus, in typical Patriots fashion, they are giving up very little for a guy with seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Ochocinco is serious about winning a championship, and his presence in New England brings them an important step closer to getting there.

 

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