With Cincinnati starting their "talent" rich season at 2-5 in 2010, there will undoubtedly be grumblings. I highly doubt we'll see the explosion that many had hoped, already watching their freshly popped popcorn turn into cold soft puffy things (much like stale Cheetos), but there will be hints. During Tuesday's TOcho show, Chad Ochocinco aired a little frustration that has some believing that he is throwing Carson Palmer under the bus.
“I keep trying to explain to T and a lot of people out there. They always say ‘before you were the Ochocinco/Johnson that guy was different, he was hungry, like he didn’t care he celebrated.’ The funny thing about it is, I was in a comfort zone to where I was able to go out on a limb because I know there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I would go out there and perform and have the opportunity to make those plays.”
When Owens said that he wanted to see the old Chad back, Ochocinco said: “What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? I’m out there. I’m on the field. What do you want me to do? I’m on the field, I’m available, I’m wear number 85, I’m out there, I’M OUT THERE. I’m going to leave it at that. There’s nothing I can do but make myself available. Period.”
Chad is on pace for nearly 90 receptions and 1,047 yards receiving. However, Chad has only had two games in which he's caught more than four passes and only three times has he recorded more than 50 yards in a game.
Mike Florio, the always reasonably patience head at PFT that never assumes anything before the facts are in (never!), writes:
It's obvious what he's getting at -- primarily since everyone else sees it. Carson Palmer isn't the same guy he used to be. And the only thing that makes him a franchise quarterback at this point is his contract, which likely won't be honored in 2011.
While it's entirely reasonable to suspect Palmer in his diatribe, I doubt very much Chad is indirectly throwing any player under the bus. In fact, if we are to point out a single person that Chad could be referring to, look no further than Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski. And there's reason for it.
In September, Cedric Benson complained that the offense lacks an identity, which appears as a direct shot against Bratkowski especially considering the Bengals hardly use Benson in third and short situations. Terrell Owens complained in October that the Bengals are not hearing him with his vast experience and knowledge; again, it appears like a shot at Bratkowski, if not Marvin Lewis.
With Chad airing out his frustration, you have to wonder how much longer the Bengals are willing to allow Chad and Terrell Owens an open forum to air the team's troubles.