Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson was at the debate desk with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith today and got asked about just about everything under the sun. Johnson addressed questions about his domestic violence issues, the recent Javon Belcher incident, his future (if there is one) in the NFL and just about anything else imaginable. But what was relevant to this blog was his comments about why he was so unsuccessful with the New England Patriots. Ochocinco tried his best to avoid most of the questions pertaining to the Pats but there were a few highlights. The entirety of Johnson's debate / interview can be heard in ESPN.com's radio section but if you only care about what he said about the Pats, I've got that for you.
On Stephen A. Smith saying New England stole Johnson's "mojo":
You go to certain places and you have to shut up. I didn't have a choice but to change who I was to be in that atmosphere. I played one style my entire career and when you take that style away, whatever it may be and regardless of what people might say, I was successful doing it one way. Ain't nothing wrong with me physically. I can play the game.
Can he though? I'm not sure that having to shut your mouth and play the game, rather than being the loud-mouth, strong personality Chad Ochocinco translates into dropped passes from Tom Brady, one of the best to ever play the game. And there were plenty of notable dropped passes during his time with New England, which is why it was so hard for him to get on the field.
On Stephen A. saying that if you have any sort of skill and you understand the game you can succeed with Tom Brady as your quarterback and the possibility that the Patriots' system was too difficult for Johnson to grasp:
I think you really just insulted me. Chad Johnson has been really good at what he does for a long time. I played in Cincinnati to much success. But I wasn't playing with Tom Brady. The systems, the verbiage, it really doesn't change that much. The concepts are the same no matter where you go on all 32 teams. The verbiage might change a little bit but it's not that different.
I've never played football for a college team let alone an NFL team so there is no possible way I could have the insight to know if Johnson is wrong or not, but I can only assume that he is. If all systems were pretty much the same then how could an offense with all kinds of talent like the Philadelphia Eagles (when healthy) or the Dallas Cowboys struggle to find success? There's a good possibility that this was a cover up for Johnson having problems understanding the schemes which could have been another reason he had a tough time getting on the field for a decent number of snaps as a Patriot.
On Bayless asking him straight up, "What went wrong in New England?"
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
Then who does?
On Bayless saying that Brandon Lloyd is doing great and asking Johnson if Lloyd is better than him:
Of course. Why wouldn't he be? The numbers speak for themselves. Brandon Lloyd is over there having great year, wearing #85 in the same position I was in. So that means he's better than me. He's been in the same offense.
I include this quote to ask this ... Are any of the three people in this conversation actually watching the Patriots this season? Brandon Lloyd has been sufficient for what he's been asked to do, but for everyone to just agree that his season has been "great?" Lloyd has 50 catches on 88 targets for 561 yards and three touchdowns. That's not bad. It's certainly better than what Ochocinco did last season. But great? He's basically doing the same thing as Andre Roberts from the Arizona Cardinals who is in a far worse offense. Only Roberts' numbers are slightly better (50 catches on 86 targets for 639 yards and five TDs). Let's pump the breaks before call Lloyd's season great. But better than Johnson was? Absolutely.
When Stephen A. was starting to ask Johnson about Tedy Bruschi's comments:
I don't know if Johnson was pretending to not know who Bruschi was, if he actually didn't know who he is or if the was being coy or trying the be funny. But I don't even know how to comment on him not knowing who Tedy Bruschi is. I'll leave that one alone.
On Stephen A. insisting that Johnson's time in New England is relevant when Ocho was trying to get away from the topic:
Actually, nothing about me is relevant right now.
Now that, Chad, I agree with. Despite that lack of relevancy in today's NFL picture this was an extremely intriguing interview and definitely worth a watch or a listen. This is probably Johnson's attempt at getting a job with ESPN, but I'm just going to look at it as pure entertainment, which it is. Will he be back in the NFL? Maybe he will. All we do know he won't be back with the New England Patriots.