Branch: Ochocinco learns quickly

July, 31, 2011
7/31/11
12:40
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Few receivers know the Patriots' offensive system as well as Deion Branch, who first joined the team in 2002. Along those lines, Branch has been impressed with what he's seen from Chad Ochocinco over the last few days in terms of adapting to what the Patriots do.

"I think he's picked up a lot of things," Branch said after Sunday morning's walkthrough. "The stuff they've thrown at him, I think he's done a great job of picking it up. The stuff that he's sliding on, we're going to do our best to pick him up when we can, and when he needs it. So far he hasn't been needing it and that's a good sign."

Ochocinco has quickly immersed himself in the mix, catching passes from quarterback Tom Brady and lining up with some of the team's other top receivers in drills. Branch likes the potential of the receiving corps with Ochocinco aboard.

"I think we should be good," he said. "Chad is great. he's a proven player, a veteran, very entertaining. We expect he has to come in and help us out."

Veteran cornerback Leigh Bodden, who earned respect from Ochocinco when the two faced off in Bengals/Browns games from 2003-2007, also commented on Ochocinco's presence.

"To [compete] against him every day now is a great thing," he said. "He's rejuvenated and he's ready to come out here and help us win. He's a good guy, funny, but he's also a work-a-holic. It's good to see him happy and ready to go.

"Even yesterday, he came up to me and said 'If you see anything, just let me know, no matter what it is', so he can get better. That's something you don't see every day from a receiver like that. So I know he's going to bring hard work and dedication to try to help us win."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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