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

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.