Ochocinco gets into his groove


Ochocinco gets into his groove

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Operation Ocho Assimilation is going swimmingly. On Tuesday, Chad Ochocinco, thePatriots effervescent wideout, spoke tothe mediahorde at Gillette Stadium for thesecond time. His remarks centered on some self-congratulation for how quickly he's picking up the offense."The transition to heaven's been pretty good," Ochocinco professed. "It's been fun. Surprisingly, I've caught onto so much material in such a small amount of time."The amountof time he's spent with fellow receivers has made a huge difference in getting up to speed, he said. "They've made it the easiest," Ocho said when asked aboutconversations with Wes Welker and Deion Branch."With so much verbiage as far as signals and other things in the offense, its hard for me to get that. Wes and Deion have been able to catch me up to speed on that. With those two, including Tom, they've expanded the process. Even if a game was played very soon I could probably go out there and play at full speed without having to think."In Ocho's case, the transition from larger-than-life personality to mere standout is just as important. As he did in his opening statements to the media, he pointed out that hehas had to change his ways. Ocho's Twitter hasn't fallen silent. But it is quieter. "Alot of people are upset and we all know why," he acknowledged, alluding to the fact the Patriots aren't interested in employing Ocho the celebrity as much as they are in the football player. "You have to do it the Patriot way, the way things are done here. But one thing about this city, man, and their sports. All they do is win. That stuff I did in the past, there's just no need for." With the Patriots' preseason opener on Thursday, Ocho's first chance to put on a Patriots' uniform looms. He stressed, however, the importance of the practices as the real learning periods. And his pass-catching - which lagged in his first few practices - has been more in line with what one would expect throughout the last few workouts. "What's important for me is practice out here," he explained. "The better I am out here, the easier it will be for me on Sundays. The preseason is important to a certain extent but most of my quality work comes out here on the field with these guys. "The reason I'm able to have even a little bit of confidence is I've been able to consume alot of information in a short period of time, he added. "I'm nowhere near where I need to be to be a part of this offensein a good way but I'm on the right track."Away from the field, Ochocinco is still marching to his own beat. He said he gets lost on purpose to learn the area. He plans to live with a fan for "two or three weeks" until he gets acclimated and chooses a place to live. "Boston - or actually heaven - has been good," he added. "People have been fun.A lot of people are not too fond of the Prius that I drive. I find that hard to believe, I'm not sure what that's all about. But other than that, people have been great."If the biggest problem people have around"heaven" is Ocho's choice of ride, things should go just fine.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”