Chad Ochocinco, ‘landing in heaven,’ joins Patriots; Haynesworth arrives


Chad, Tom. Tom, Chad. (Charles Krupa / AP)

Chad Ochocinco is one happy camper. Perhaps later today, Albert Haynesworth will share his joy in a similar fashion.

Oh, sure, the New England Patriots’ wide receiver/soccer player/rodeo bull rider/designer/OCNN mogul must wrest No. 85 from Aaron Hernandez, but he showed up for his new team’s first practice/walk-through, watching from the sideline. Haynesworth was in the building and may be watching the team this afternoon.

[Update — The number problem apprarently has been settled. In the afternoon session, Ochocinco was wearing an 85 jersey as he practiced with the team; Hernandez was wearing No. 81 shorts. ]

Ochocinco met quarterback Tom Brady, an event that prompted the whirring of camera motor drives. He liked one photo so much — it’s the one above — that he made it his new Twitter avatar. A little later he tweeted:

It’s 1 thing to jump and be able to land on 2 feet but I had no idea I was landing in Heaven.Hope all is well on this good Friday.less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet ReplyChad Ochocinco
ochocinco


Caption contest! (BRIAN SNYDER / REUTERS)

“This is the first time I had a chance to be with him on the field. I know he’s excited,” Brady said. “I talked to him earlier. He’s excited to be out here and he’s excited to be a part of a new team. ...

“I’ve watched him play over the years, I remember I met him at the Pro Bowl a long time ago. He’s just fun to be around. He loves football and I think that’s why guys do well here, because they love the game, they love to compete. They show up and they want to win. I think to be a good player on this team, you have to be able to put the team first.”


Deion Branch and Ochocinco. (BRIAN SNYDER / REUTERS)

“I saw him this morning, I said, ‘I still haven’t forgiven you for that.’ He said, God, I’ve got a lot of friends up here and they’ve all given him a lot of grief over the years,” Brady said. “He’s a big guy and there’s a lot of competition at the D-line position. And Chad’s in the same situation, hopefully. He can come in and fill a role and be a big part of the success of this team. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do.”

Let’s flash back to that hit and what Haynesworth had to say about it at what was a much simpler time for him in Washington: “I mean, it wasn’t like I was hitting [Brady’s wife] Gisele or something; he’s the quarterback. It was good, it was fine. I mean, I was trying to tackle him, but I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I’m not that type of a player, you know? I’m actually a big Tom Brady fan. I’m a big Patriots fan. I’ve always like the Patriots, I’ve always liked Coach Belichick. I just like the way [Brady] is.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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