Ochocinco's name change is no gimmick

July, 23, 2012
7/23/12
12:48
PM ET
Miami Dolphins receiver Chad Ochocinco is coming full circle. As promised a few weeks ago, Ochocinco is officially going back to his birth name: Chad Johnson.

Johnson
Johnson's Twitter account has been changed for weeks. He recently married reality television star Evelyn Lozada and tweeted she had no interest in being "Evelyn Ochocinco." Obviously, Ochocinco married a smart woman.

But this time Ochocinco's name change is no gimmick.

His intentions are pure. This is not about being different or new jersey sales or garnering more attention. The newly renamed Chad Johnson is changing his name in an effort to keep his wife happy and also get back to his roots.

We examined a couple of weeks ago whether the 34-year-old receiver can get back to Chad Johnson the player. His numbers were much better under the name Johnson than they were under Ochocinco. He averaged 28 more receptions per season as Johnson, but he also was younger and in his prime.

The receiver-deprived Dolphins need a Chad Johnson resurgence for their passing game to be successful. Miami will get the old name on the back of the jersey this season. But will they get the old player?

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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