Chad Ochocinco will play pro football in his hometown after signing Monday with the Miami Dolphins and, perhaps just as importantly, he’ll be counted on to provide a certain je ne sais quoi for the team’s appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
Ochocinco, 34, hasn’t lost a step when it comes to sound bites, but receptions might be another matter. In one season in New England, he never established a rapport with his quarterback and, as a result, caught only 15 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown. There’s certainly an opportunity to prove he still has it in Miami, which traded Brandon Marshall to Chicago.
Ochocinco, who grew up in Liberty City, Fla., worked out for the Dolphins on Monday, after being released by the Patriots on Thursday, and signed a one-year deal. The Miami Herald reported that the team decided to sign him after Brian Hartline, who usually leads the regular receivers in yards per catch, missed an organized team activity and receivers were unable to hang onto the ball.
“The consistency of catching the ball is something I know [the receivers coaches] are working on, and [offensive coordinator] Mike [Sherman is] a little bit concerned about, as am I,” Coach Joe Philbin told the Palm Beach Post. “Today, there were a couple guys – not always a receiver. I think we have to catch the ball more consistently at every position on offense, because it’s not quite where it needs to be.”
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