Ocho the chameleon will 'ride the wave' for Pats

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Ocho the chameleon will 'ride the wave' for Pats

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots InsiderFollow @tomecurranFOXBORO - The swarm ofmediaencircling Bill Belichick on the edge of the Patriots practice field suddenly shifted. Like guppies in a fish tank after a flake of food, the whole horde moved left leaving the three-time Super Bowl coach to smirk and say, "I guess I've been trumped."The new flake - an apt words in more ways than one - was descended upon. A cameraman shoved a reporter who took exception to being backed over in the scrum. Chad Ochocinco smiled. And the very talented, wonderfully entertaining player who has allowed himself to become a celebrity first and an NFL player second said he will change for the Patriots. "I'm gonna always be me," Ochocinco answered when I asked him if he plans to tone down his personality. "It's been a part of my game. I'm gonna always be me. But there's a certain way that the Patriots do it. And it's easy for me. I've always been a chameleon so I'm going to blend in and do it the Patriot way which is win. I think Bill, we had our talk, and without him having to say anything ... there's no need for some of the stuff I did before. There's no need for it."Funny is a matter of opinion.In mine, Chad Johnson is genuinely funny. A professional distraction? Yes. Buta legitimately entertaining person as opposed to being entertaining "for a football player." I think he is. Asked what he had to give up to second-year tight end in order to secure No. 85, Ocho answered that he gave him nothing. Ocho added that he would let Hernandez drive his Toyota Prius. Ocho also said he would give Hernandez some McDonald's coupons he has squirreled away, adding that "I don't eat there anymore."There are about 30 McDonald's billboards around the Patriots' practice field. Oops. Ocho did send love to his former team in Cincinnati. He should. They made things easy for him by sending him where he's been pining to go."The Bengals drafted me and I like to say that the fans made me who I am today," he offered. "I'm grateful for all that they've done. I'm grateful for everything (Bengals owner) Mike Brown has done for me, help me be able to provide for my family. And especially (Bengals coach Marvin Lewis). Regardless of what everyone thinks from the outside in, kudos for everything he's done and everything he's put up with from me. I thank Cincinnatti the organization. "It's a new chapter in my life. I'm happy to be here. It's gonna be a little quiet. You won't get the same Chad you're used to. I probably won't be talking to the media much. Probably not at all, really. I just want to play ball and just ride the wave."
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

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.