Ochocinco OK with scrutiny in the media

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Ochocinco OK with scrutiny in the media

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Chad Ochocinco's heard the "rumblings" about the slow start to his Patriots tenure. He defended himself, saying he's done "extremely well" in picking up as much as he has so quickly. But he also said he's fine with the critiques. "I like that," he said when asked if he was OK with the scrutiny. "You guys have a job to do. You are not my friends. You have a job to do and I understand that. I want you guys to critique the hell out of me as I can also do to you. I hold no grudges. But as you fire upon me, believe, I will fire back. "I'm nowhere near where I want to be," he added. "Regardless of what you write or what you see, I'm the first to judge myself. I aim for perfection. I'm putting the pressure to be right and be perfect now. Not later. I'm trying to squeeze everything in a short time frame. It's somewhat impossible. But if I aim to be as perfect as possible, I'll get up to speed."In two preseason games, he's caught two balls for 14 yards. One was a slant for 6 yards. The other was a simple play-action lob from Tom Brady for a touchdown. He was catchless on Saturday in Detroit. He had a bad drop and another pass glanced off his hands. Tom Brady blamed himself for a pick he threw in Ocho's direction. Ocho understands the fixation on his progress. "High profile, flashy, flamboyant player coming in and I'm supposed to come in a certain way," he acknowledged. "Point blank. There is no room...you know what I mean? I know y'all gonna kill me, especially here. Boston love they sports and if I'm (expletive) up you're gonna get me."This is about the fourth time we've had a "State of the Ocho" address. Each one has been entertaining as hell but the message hasn't changed much. He's still a work in progress. "I've been just fine," he assured. "(You've) got to think of coming from any place where you've been 10 years to come here and learn the verbiage and learn as much as I have the past two weeks, I've done extremely well. ... I'll be there a lot faster than what I'm supposed to be. If there were an offseason program, I would have been here for an eight-week period to learn this offense." How close is he to being able to just perform without thinking? "Right now, scale of 1 to 10, how far am I from what you described?" he asked, repeating the question. "Probably a 7. Right now, I'm able to go out and as soon as I hear Tommy (Brady) call something I'm good, I'm set. But I'm still not in that comfort zone where I can be me. Exhale and say 'Oh, it's on. Let's play.' It's only my third week. Let's be realistic. This is the highest levels of football."Ocho says everything is as he expected it. From Brady to Belichick to the media. He is neither apologizing for nor planning to tone down his outsides personality. "If I'mnot me, then I'm not playing my game. For me to change my entire style at this point, I'd be a dead duck. You'd be on me every week."As the conversation broke up, Ochocinco said to the dispersing media, "Feelfree to kill me at will." Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.