Raiders coach thinks Ocho will come around

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Raiders coach thinks Ocho will come around

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO -- There is no shortage of football men who adore Chad Ochocinco.
From the man who dealt for him this summer -- Bill Belichick -- to Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson (former wide receivers coach in Cincinnati), everyone signs off on Ocho being a terrific person. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice. Here is Jackson's ode to Ocho delivered on Wednesday, four days before his Raiders face the Patriots and the struggling wideout. "Chad Johnson's my son," Jackson deadpanned on a conference call. "I know you guys probably have a hard time with him. He's kind of colorful. But he is a tremendous young man. I really adore him but I won't on Sunday." Jackson coached Ocho in Cincinnati from 2004 to 2006 when he was still Chad Johnson and primarily concerned with getting really good at wide receiver. "I helped raise that young man in Cincinnati," said Jackson. "He played for me, he did wonders for me and he isa tremendous competitor and a doggone good football player."How did they help each other?"We grew," said Jackson, who's got the Raiders at 2-1 in the AFC West. "When I came to Cincinnati it was real early in his career and he was right on the cusp of becoming a great player and what I try to do is push him and take him to where he truly wanted to go. He wanted to be one of the best in the league and there's no question at that time he was. He really worked at it. The way he studied videotape, the way he prepared. I let him have his own personality because that's Chad. You have to allow him to be him to get the most out of him. That's what we were able to do and we forged a bond that's been the same since my time in Cincinnati."The Patriots have a certain way of doing things, a more muted way. AndOchocinco embracedthat on arrival, goingout of his way to saypoint out that he fall in line with a more businesslike persona. We may never know exactlywhether Bill Belichick demanded Ocho change or whether the playerbegan going out of his way to do what he thought was appropriate. Suffice it to say, he has been more muted and that's been floated as a reason for his shortcomings. That seemsa giant leap. Whatever the reasons for his struggles, Jacksonagrees that Ochocinco may be down on himself right now. "I think a lot of players are that way," he noted. "When you tend to have success and things have gone for you the way his career has gone up to this point, it's hard when you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. But one thing I know about him, he's going to continue to work. He'll do everything that's asked of him. He's a tremendous pro. Eventually, it will come off right for him. I just don't want it to happen this week."There is little indication Jackson needworry too much about that. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran