By Justin McCahren
Chad Ochocinco is bringing his talents to South Beach. The 34 year old wide receiver has signed a one year contract with the Miami Dolphins. The move makes sense for Miami who needed to add depth at the position. What exactly can we expect from the veteran pass catcher in 2012? Well, that depends on Ocho himself.
The artist formerly known as Chad Johnson is a Miami native. One has to wonder, is he coming home to retire, or is he coming home to work? Coming off of a 15 catch season in New England, Ochocinco has plenty to prove. He could be a valuable asset with the Dolphins, both on the field and as a positive influence to their young receiving corps. Then again, he could be a detriment. If he’s looking to simply be a character on a reality television show, this signing is awful. If he’s looking to lead by example, the Dolphins receivers could be ahead of schedule in 2012. So what will it be, Hardknocks, or Hardwork?
Having a 15 catch season with the finely tuned machine that is the Patriots doesn’t mean he’s done. It just means that Tom Brady had him 5th or 6th on his target list. It’s easy to get lost in an offense that features Wes Welker and two seam busting tight ends. It’s also easy to be an afterthought if your not willing to integrate yourself into their offense. Clearly Jeff Ireland, Joe Philbin and the Dolphins brass think their new west coast offense is more of match for Chad. Whether that match was only made out of pure necessity could determine a lot.
Ochocinco’s resume speaks for itself. For six seasons, from 2002-2007, he was among the elite. Since 2007, he’s had just one 1,000 yard receiving season. At 34, Miami doesn’t expect a return to elite status. They do however expect a professional receiver who is willing to do whatever they need to help this team build.
All toll, Ochocinco has caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns during his eleven year career.