Ochocinco gets into his groove

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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.

Funeral for ex-Patriot Ron Brace scheduled for Monday

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Funeral for ex-Patriot Ron Brace scheduled for Monday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Former New England Patriots defensive lineman Ron Brace is being laid to rest in his home town.

A celebration of his life will be held at St. John's Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Monday morning followed by a noontime funeral service. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.

Brace died at his family's home April 24. He was 29.

Police say his death was not suspicious and appears to be have been caused by a medical condition.

Brace grew up in Springfield and attended Burncoat High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. After a standout career at Boston College, he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 draft and played four years with the team.

He is survived by his parents and six siblings.

What positions were not addressed by Patriots in draft?

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What positions were not addressed by Patriots in draft?

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the negatives for the New England Patriots in the NFL, including not selecting a running back and not adding depth for linebackers.