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Marvin Lewis Praises Chad Ochocinco For The First Time In A Long Time

Head coach Marvin Lewis hasn't necessarily been the most sensitive person when it comes to answering questions about wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. He called Chad mopey when he missed a practice leading up to the Bengals game against the San Diego Chargers before it was learned Chad was suffering from bone spurs in his ankle. The spat between head coach and wide receiver brought a TNA Wrestling promotion in a steel cage.

Lewis laughed at the suggestion that the New England Patriots could inquire about Chad. But for his part, Chad has had his own zingers, once tweeting that Lewis is 60-67-1 all-time with two playoff losses and two seasons with better than .500 record. Recently while a report surfaced that Lewis is simply tired of "Ochocinco's attention-seeking ways" Bengals owner Mike Brown said:

"We aren't looking for a bull rider or a dancer, or a soccer player. We want a football player. It's simple. That's where we want the focus. Not on other things."

When asked about Chad on ESPN 101 in St. Louis, Marvin Lewis dramatically reduced the rhetoric against Chad, giving him plenty of praise.

“Chad’s been an excellent player to work with. He works. He competes. He loves to hear his name called and if they have a camera he is going to talk. That’s part of it, but doing the things he need to do and that’s practicing and playing and preparing. He does a good job with that. If you score touchdown you get to talk and that’s what he’s paid to do score touchdowns.”

Considering the bantering going back between the receiver and head coach in recent months, this is somewhat surprising. We wonder though if this isn't the first step to get Chad back in Cincinnati (again) because the team may realize that they want a veteran receiver as insurance between Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell while A.J. Green develops -- arguments that Cincy Jungle's own Paul Cannon made Thursday night.