In case you've been out living a life of leisure for the past three weekends, the NFL Network's documentary series "A Football Life" has been on absolute fire lately. Patriots running back Curtis Martin got the fifth season of the series started with a bang, and legendary Patriots (OK, fine, and Chargers) human hit stick Rodney Harrison's episode two weeks ago was solid gold. This past weekend, the show rolled on with another player that Patriots fans are sure to remember - albeit for a few entirely different reasons.
"Chad Johnson: A Football Life" starts out with Chad putting every defensive back in the NFL on ice skates and addressing the perception that he was, well, to use his own words, an A-hole, but where it gets really good for Patriots fans (after watching Ocho posterize Patriots cornerbacks more than a few times in the show's highlights) is where Johnson/Ochocinco gives us the inside scoop on why things didn't go as planned in his lone season with the New England Patriots.
The Patriots snagged Ochocinco in a trade for a couple late-round draft picks with Cincinnati (one of which, ironically, would be used on receiver Marvin Jones) in July of 2011, putting him in the same receiving corps with Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, and tight end Bash Brother duo Rob Gronkowski and...he who shall not be named, and don't forget scatbacks Danny Woodhead and Kevin Faulk. All that offense ended up doing was coming within a miracle play of a Super Bowl trophy...and Ocho posted a weak (by his standards) 276 yards and one touchdown all year long.
Wait, what? How could a six-time Pro Bowler, a four-time All-Pro, who's 27th on the all-time receiving yards list, wash out in New England being paired up with one of the best coaches and quarterbacks of all time?
First, let's let Bill Belichick explain how the Patriots picked up Ochocinco in the first place.
"Mike Brown told me that they wanted to move on from him...felt like he would help us at that position, based on his talent and experience."
(Shalise Manza Young, formerly of the Boston Globe, then notes that "...Bill Belichick LOVED Chad Johnson")
And as for why things went sour in a hurry, well, take it away, Chad:
"Great team. Really, really great team. But not the right system for my type of style of play, or just a predominantly outside receiver in general. Unless your last name is Moss."
"And that was the first time where I felt afraid to be myself."
Belichick chimes in again:
"I don't think it was anybody's fault. He tried hard, we tried hard, offensively, we didn't get as much out of him as they did, that's for sure."
And so ended one of the most exciting (on paper) acquisitions in Belichick-era New England Patriots history - a dominant wideout that most people thought would pick up right where 2007 Randy Moss left off as a terrifying home-run threat for Tom Brady to mercilessly torment defenses across the league, that turned out to be, well, a faceplant at the end of the season.
Check out some clips from "A Football Life: Chad Johnson" here, if you're not still hating on him for showboating all those years ago.