June 19, 2012; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (85) addresses members of the media after minicamp at the Dolphins training facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Since he was released from the New England Patriots back in early June, Chad Ochocinco has really changed his life. Well, he's really just resorted back to his old self.
For one thing, he's no longer "Chad Ochocinco", he's Chad Johnson again. The NFL receiver and diva decided to change his last name back to Johnson when he married longtime girlfriend Evelyn Lozada. Chad's also a member of the Miami Dolphins now, a Patriots division rival.
With Dolphins training camp already under way, Johnson (I almost typed Ochocinco) is back to his old playful habits that he had while a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. While most Patriots fans (including myself) believe that Johnson's struggles were primarily his fault, he seems to think it was the team's fault.
He told the Miami media that he believes his struggles are because the team that he once referred to as 'heaven' didn't let him be him.
"I'm going back to my normal ways," Johnson told the newspaper after a photo shoot for Zico Coconut Water. "My normal ways, when I was at my best, when I got fined, look at the production those years. Usually things don't go right when you try to change the way you do things. I'm back to normal.
"My personality was controlled last year. You didn't hear me at all last year. Zero. Zilch. When my mouth is running, it forces me to perform. It's never been vindictive. I never got anybody in trouble. ... When I can be me, I am loose. Everything just flows for me, whether it's the style of play, the way I learn."
With the Patriots last season, Johnson totaled just 15 receptions for 276 yards and had a single touchdown. This clearly wasn't a fit from the beginning. Even though I agree that Johnson is a better player when he's having fun, he needed to adapt to the Patriots' way of doing. Because he didn't make a good enough effort to do so, he was a flat out bust in New England.
I've always admired Chad Johnson as a football player, and I wish him well in Miami. But I wish him even more good luck trying to tell his new team Patriots information, because he just flat out didn't get it when he was here.