Monday, June 11, 2012
Dolphins more interesting with Ochocinco
By James Walker
Let's be honest, there was no marquee name to watch on HBO's "Hard Knocks" series this summer. But that quickly changed on Monday night.
The Miami Dolphins reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with colorful free-agent receiver Chad Ochocinco. This comes just several days after his release by the reigning AFC champion New England Patriots. Ochocinco, 34, will add flair and talent to a Miami team desperately thin at receiver.
It only took one workout Monday for the Dolphins to determine Ochocinco is not washed up. He simply was an awful fit in New England's precision offense. Miami is running a West Coast system under first-year coach Joe Philbin. There are questions about Ochocinco's fit there, as well, but he instantly becomes the most accomplished receiver on Miami's roster.
Overall, I think it's good that the Dolphins did something about their receiving corps. But there are several questions about this move. Are the Dolphins more concerned about their receivers than they are letting on? Yes. Is it strange for Miami to get rid of Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall for less than market value and try to swap his production with an aging Ochocinco? Yes.
But the Dolphins, at the very least, became a lot more interesting. There is a reason now for casual fans to tune into "Hard Knocks." This is Ochocinco's second time on the show. He also did it with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Ochocinco also is somewhat of a local product. He's from Los Angeles but played high school football in Miami Beach. Ochocinco brings a big name and a colorful personality to an otherwise nameless team. He might also help sell tickets, which is a big issue in Miami.
I wrote earlier that I'm not sure if Ochocinco is the best fit for Miami. But on a one-year contract, it’s worth the risk.