|Ocho Cinco's stats off this year|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 31 October 2008 09:57|
The Cincinnati Bengals receiver has 15 fewer receptions, 467 fewer yards and one less touchdown than he did after the first eight games of 2007.
His 32 catches at this point are his fewest since 2002. Ocho Cinco's 312 yards are the least since his rookie season, and that includes three games he was inactive.
Although he had ankle surgery in June and a shoulder injury in August, the former Chad Johnson - who legally changed his name before the start of the season - has no excuses.
``When my opportunities do come, I am here to make the plays,'' he said. ``But, based off of how things have gone this year with nothing really changing about my game - injury is not an issue, my shoulder's fine, my ankle's fine - but for those who don't know why I'm not getting the ball, I have my own little philosophy on what's going on.''
Ocho Cinco battled the Bengals' front office throughout the offseason, trying to be traded.
``Never, ever, ever, ever go against the monster, because the monster always wins,'' Ocho Cinco told the Cincinnati Enquirer, hinting but not acknowledging that he was referring to management.
``I think that may be part of why my production is down this year,'' he said. ``To rant and rave in the offseason like that and then come back and expect to be productive, or to expect them to use me the same way that they used me in the past, is very unlikely.''
Ocho Cinco - Spanish for Chad's jersey number 85 - said some people unfairly blamed him for the Bengals' disappointing 7-9 finish last season, saying his attitude and trash talk diverted the team's focus.
He used to brag that no defensive back in the NFL could cover him one-on-one. Now he hints that the team doesn't want him to stand out.
``There is nothing wrong with me, but it is probably deserving because of my actions in the offseason. It is like somewhat of a punishment,'' he said. ``When you open your mouth, this is what you get. I understand that. When opportunities come, I am going to make the plays.''
In April, coach Marvin Lewis confirmed the Bengals turned down a trade offer for Ocho Cinco from Washington. The Redskins were willing to give up their first-round pick in the 2008 draft, and a conditional third-round pick in 2009 that could have elevated to a first-rounder based on Ocho Cinco's performance in 2008.
The Redskins are 6-2 and second in the NFC East. The Bengals are 0-8 and last in the AFC North.
e the NFL's worst offense, a struggling offensive line and an injured starting quarterback. The receiving corps is down 30 catches, 824 yards and 11 touchdowns in the first eight games compared with last season.
Even so, every catch pads Ocho Cinco's team records. He is first in career catches and yards receiving, and in Houston he reached the 100 mark for consecutive games with at least one catch.