Ochocinco shows speed, hopes to 'get back to basics' with Dolphins

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Ochocinco shows speed, hopes to 'get back to basics' with Dolphins

Chad Ochocinco had nothing but good things to say about the place he once called "Heaven". But Heaven and Ochocinco didn't mix, so he took whatever was left of his talents to a much warmer climate.

No, not that warm. He went to South Beach.

Ochocinco met with Miami media for the first time since joining the Dolphins, and while there was no group hug this time around, there was plenty of talk about finding his game -- and his old self -- once again.

"Enjoying the opportunity to come here and play at home," Ochocinco said. "Play with a great organization. Lot of changes being made here. Coaching staff, I'm enjoying it. Developing Brokeback Mountain-type chemistry with the players. It's about me getting back to the basics, going back to the root of how it all started. Not as far as playing at home in Miami but as far as my game goes. Getting back to what we're all used to seeing: the basic fundamentals of how I became what I am. I think I kind of lost that, and I'm looking to go back to the Chad Johnson."

But Ochocinco is a guy who loves to talk. He said all the right things in Foxboro last season, and got plenty of breaks early on as he tried to grasp the playbook. Unfortunately, it never clicked, and all the talk remained just that -- that.

So how are things starting out in Miami? Quarterback Matt Moore seems impressed with what he's seen so far, especially noting the speed in which Ochocinco (somewhat surprisingly) still possesses.

Its been good, Moore said of working with Ochocinco, according to Pro Football Talk. Hes come in, hes done his work, hes trying to learn and its been business as usual. Hes fast, thats for sure. Hes quick and hes just got that attacking mentality you love in a wide receiver. Hes got a lot of good things and hopefully we can use those things in the future.

Key words in that last quote by Moore: trying to learn. Ochocinco tried in New England too, but maybe a new playbook will do him some good.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.
 

Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

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Brady, Bennett, Edelman questionable for Sunday vs. Rams

FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report for Sunday's game with the Rams is out. While they'll be without one big name, but their others are still very much in play. 

Rob Gronkowski, who was scheduled to undergo back surgery on Friday, has been ruled out. Jordan Richards, who is dealing with a knee issue and has not practiced this week, will also be held out of action on Sunday. 

Tom Brady (knee), Julian Edelman (foot), Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder) and Chris Hogan (back) -- all of whom practiced on Friday -- have been listed as questionable for the Rams game at Gillette Stadium. Special teamer Nate Ebner (concussion) returned to practice on Friday and is also questionable, as is Trey Flowers (shin) and Elandon Roberts, who popped up on the injury report with a jaw issue Friday. 

Special teams captain Matthew Slater missed Friday's session after participating on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been ruled as questionable. Defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton is also questionable after missing his second straight day of practice with an illness.

If Slater and Ebner are at all limited this weekend, coupled with the loss of Richards, the Patriots kicking game would be significantly impacted. Hogan took reps as the team's personal protector on the punt team earlier this week and may fill that role should Ebner miss time.