Friday, July 29, 2011

Belichick Welcomes in Ochocinco, Haynesworth, Proves to Be Genius


There's a part of me that worries about the state of mind of a flamboyant and bombastic loudmouth in the league, or even a part of me that wishes the New England Patriots the best. The funny thing is, if not a risk for an accomplished franchise filled with much mystique and prosperity from its most flourished era that defined one of the most exceptional dynasties in sports, Bill Belichick is an expert in grooming his players, particularly renegade stars of much rebellion.

Even though arrogance, egotism and fraud of Spygate described Belichick to be a con artist since he bamboozled the rules of America's famous game with all his fraudulent ploys on the field every Sunday, he can mold rebellious players into elite NFL stars. The Patriots are notorious for bringing in troubled players to overhaul a Super Bowl-caliber force, rising back into contention of all the immediate revamping.

It's not hard to believe, given Belichick's history to build a contender from temperamental talent allowing the Patriots to regain Super Bowl worthiness, that New England has traded for star wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and defiant defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. It is, seemingly, a remedy to restore faith, even though Bill Belichick said on Friday morning that the two trades haven't been finalized.

“We are in the process of working through the trades with Albert and Chad. They still haven’t officially been completed yet so there isn’t really anything I can comment with them,” Belichick said Friday morning. “We’re working through the process and when it’s complete – if it’s complete – we can talk about it then.”

It's a reasonably optimistic route down the right path to acquire Ochocinco from the Cincinnati Bengals, though he has spent much of his controversial career blabbering to seek attention, to be highly regarded and, well, to become notably a worldwide athlete. So if the Patriots ever pondered on this risk that could tremendously be an antidote, and perhaps, form another dynasty unlike any other, it's imperative to realize that this is a short-term fix as New England is ready to hoist another Lombardi Trophy after next season.

It also means the addition of a brash or loudmouth wideout could kill the morale and divide a team of much chemistry and unity, based on Belichick's words of advice and being a consultant to his players. But this has been a problem for so long that no other franchise trust in Ochocinco, on edge inevitably as the Pro Bowl star is hated by many or maybe even misconceived for all the smack-talk, for all the sheepheaded antics and touchdown celebrations.

We saw a trade coming, and we were shortsighted, selling the Patriots short of pulling off an unexpected deal no one ever imagined. It's hard to discount every reaction of Belichick's masterminded gimmicks, clearly in attempt of his latest renovation to escape the futility and newfound vulnerability as the Patriots were under siege. For a while, New England wasn't as confident, as fierce or even as flawless, and with the acquisition of Ochocinco and even Fat Albert, the Patriots could easily transform into a championship-contender to largely be a dynamic force in the competitive AFC East.

“As it relates to Albert and Chad, any comments on them would just be premature,” Belichick said. “We’re in the process of it, no doubt about it. It’s not official, they’re not officially on our team and until they are, I just don’t think it’s appropriate to really talk about it as if they are because they’re not.”

As is evidenced by his sophisticated trend of developing the Patriots, Belichick has had the perfect veterans to fittingly blend in well of his demanding style in the past seasons. These are adjustments, mind you, that we are accustomed to witnessing every offseason by an elite franchise with an intellectual head coach in this organization assembling a talented cast of players. He is so much of a genius, in fact, that he has selected wisely during each NFL draft, has pulled off the risky, gut-wrenching moves and has won in each and every single trade deal.

At the most, he's won these deals as well, a pair of trades that were reported on Thursday, the first day of Patriots training camp. His intent is to resuscitate what is the longest championship drought that the Patriots lacked for much of the second decade of the 21st century to complete another chapter in New England's history books, if possible, addressing two of his team's greatest deficiencies at a minimal cost of surrendering a 2012 fifth-round pick and a 2013 fifth and sixth round selection.

As for Ochocinco, he'll always be known most around the league for his colorful, out-of-this-world antics and trash-talk, including the moment when he was a famous personality on "Dancing With the Stars," where he appeared with a hot female dancer, where he showed his skilled dance motions nationally. It seems that he has always been a daring, courageous individual of his flamboyant career, riding a bull for 1.5 seconds at a professional bull rider's event not too long ago. In fact, he tried to race a thoroughbred on one occasion and won the race, when he was given a head start.

In the midst of his silliness and buffoonish nonsense at times, he appeared in reality shows, talk shows and even showed his face publicly online, but his biggest problem is Twitter where he practically spends much of his time posting messages with almost 30,000 tweets. The clowning behavior of one of the talented receivers in the league only represents trouble. And then again, it could represent evolution in the Patriots culture, only if Ochocinco avoids performing touchdown celebrations or putting on a Hall of Fame frolic by wearing a mustard jacket that reads on the back "Future H.o.F 20??"

With this, Belichick has done well in finding Tom Brady's target at the wide receiver core this season, but Ochocinco would have to refrain from the playfulness and be serious in the way he approach the game every Sunday. The move puts the burden on players, but more than ever, it places the pressure on Belichick, built strongly to bounce back from a stunning 28-21 playoff loss last season.

The rationale for such a huge gamble on a player with a lot of baggage is that Belichick could have relatively passed on Ochocinco, perhaps for the sake of the Patriots and their cordial bond. The empty feeling Ochocinco may have in his heart has probably vanished this week, a sense of relief that comes from the drastic change in his professional career, released from the submerging Bengals in Cincinnati to fortunately contend in New England for a championship, courtesy of Beligenius, who has been a genius of cultivation within one franchise.

It's an especially larger market and a much demanding franchise, which is all the more reason Ochocinco needs to exclude the Twitter feed, to focus on football and prove to be one of the best wide receivers in the league and stand as a stellar wideout and dependable veteran. His mere presence in New England, along with his talent of presumably reeling in a historic total of catches, brings in confidence and probably improvise the deepest roster in the AFC East.

It was a sensible move, driven by Belichick's eagerness to build a winnable team and sharpen the installment of returning to prominence. This has pleased Ochocinco, once discontent in a Bengals uniform, now finally have a greater shot to revel in happiness. If he adjusts his ego and attitude, to become well-driven aiming for the better and has a more proficient work ethic, Ochocinco would be the town's exulted icon.

He wasn't brought to New England to be a prima donna or a drama queen, but was welcomed to contribute within the high-powered offense. The window for the Patriots is closing, but with the exception of Ochocinco, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, the window may have just gotten wider. There are immense expectations for Haynesworth, one of the biggest free-agent busts in NFL history, after he was given a seven-year, $100-million deal with a then-record $41 million guaranteed at Washington.

The hefty defensive tackle, a lazy player of Redskins Circus where he was a no-show, couldn't pass a conditioning test and pouted about playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, is capable of being a sturdy defender on the field. There's much Haynesworth, 30, has done wrong in his life, getting sued by a bank, or even when a woman claimed he impregnated her and he is currently accused of sexual assault. The good thing is, Ochocinco has never been in legal troubles, but has exploded in tirades or outbursts.

However, if Belichick handled the likes of Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, then we know he can handle the mildness of Ochocinco, who had 67 catches for 831 yards and four touchdowns last season. This alone will test the relationship of Ochocinco and Belichick, and as much as they are egotistic, to sacrifice ego is imperative and everyone is probably curious to know how this relationship culminates in the end, particularly when Ochocinco is the No. 3 receiver with the Patriots, behind Wes Welker and Deion Branch.

It's clear, nonetheless, that he's a famous receiver, but now all he is missing is an NFL championship -- and finally -- he has a good shot. Much thanks to Belichick.