It’s been an electric few days here recently with the end of the NFL lockout, the start of free agency and the stunning moves by the New England Patriots to not only add veteran defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, but also in trading for receiver Chad Ochocinco.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who was interestingly quiet during the labor talks despite having his name headline a lawsuit against the league, was back on the practice field Friday to talk about his new receiver.
“I’ve known Chad for a long time,” Brady said of the former Bengal Ochocinco. “I’ve watched him for a long time, and he brings a lot of energy to the team… He’s been a very prolific receiver. I think he’s had a bunch of production over the years. Hopefully he can come in here and find a role on this team, as we’re all trying to do. We’re all trying to come out here and see what we can make of this year, and see what kind of role we can make for ourselves.”
Much like coach Bill Belichick, Brady rarely gives away much during interviews, but these comments hint at one concern many have expressed about Ochocinco, that he can be a bit of wild card. His fondness for Twitter, past controversial public statements and overall loud persona don’t exactly fit the mold of the typical Patriots player. That however, according to Ocho himself, will not be a problem going forward.
“I’ll always be me, it’s been a part of my game,” Ochocinco told the press. “But there’s a certain way that the Patriots do it. For me, I’ve always been a chameleon, so I’m going to stand in and do it the Patriot Way… I’m happy to be here. I’m going to be a little quiet, you won’t get the same Chad you’re used to and I probably won’t be talking to the media much, probably not at all, really. I’m going to play ball and ride the wave, man.”
Regardless if Ochocinco conforms to the Patriot Way or not is really only a small detail in the larger story for the New England Patriots this season. Clearly, as shown with these big moves, they are ready to do what it takes to contend in 2011 and that in itself is a great sign for good things to come this year.
For more news on all the player transactions for the New England Patriots and others around the National Football League, keep an eye on the CBS Boston Free Agency Tracker.