On the T.Ocho show tonight, Chad Ochocinco, who will be flying solo because Terrell Owens is recovering from knee surgery, will be addressing his thoughts on TO's future, and his own, with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Says Ochocinco about next season: "I’d love to see Terrell come back next year. As far as myself, I don’t even know if I’ll be back next year. … Changes will be made and they’ll be significant."
The Bengals passing offense, which ranks at No. 13 in the NFL in passing yards per game with 228.1, was expected to explode this season compared to the 2009 season due to the signing of TO and the acquisition of Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham in the draft. Even though the Bengals improved from their ranking of No. 26 in passing yards per game from 2009, they never took off like many expected they would.
This combined with a current 3-11 record and a last place spot in the AFC will cause, many believe, wide sweeping changes in the Bengals from top to bottom. Analysts, fans and now even players are beginning to see that no one has a future with the Cincinnati Bengals that is set in stone.
Publicly, during his weekly Wednesday locker room sessions, Ochocinco has sounded somewhat confident about being back next year (even when others have said it is unlikely the club would pick up the $6 million option). So, this is at least the first public statement where 85 is acknowledging that a tidal wave of changes are coming. It’s also a public acknowledgement by Ochocinco that his powers of influence inside the organization are no longer there.
After six years of having more than 1,100 yards receiving, Ochocinco has only had a 1,000-yard receiving season once in the past three years (1,047 yards in 2009). As we've seen with quarterback-wide receiver duos like Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark or Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, among others, is that when a quarterback and a wide receiver are given time to play together for a few years, usually they get better together. Ochocinco and Palmer, who seemed to be on the same page, especially from 2003-07,are seemingly now be reading separate playbooks.
It may be fairly unlikely that Palmer leaves Cincinnati, at least by next season, but Ochocinco parting ways with the Queen City may be in the cards a lot sooner than most of us would have thought.
The see what Chad says about his future in Cincinnati, tune into the T.Ocho Show tonight at 10:30 on Versus.