Raiders coach thinks Ocho will come around


Raiders coach thinks Ocho will come around

By Tom E. Curran 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 Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots


Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots

FOXBORO -- Seems as though the Bills don't quite have their stories straight. 

On the one hand, you have Bills players, who say that they won't hesitate to retaliate if a Patriots player gets near one of their pregame warmup drills, as Jacoby Brissett did in Week 4. 

On the other hand, you have the Bills coach, who sounded less eager for there to be any kind of scrap before this weekend's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

"No, I mean with us, just go out and warm up," Ryan said in a conference call Wednesday. "That’s what you do, but any of the extracurricular things, you know, there’s absolutely zero focus on that, and shouldn’t be any focus on that. It’s just about playing games.

"I mean if people want to show how tough they are, put the boxing gloves on and get in the ring or something. That might be more impressive -- I don’t want Gronk by the way.

"But I definitely don’t want to see that happen, and our focus is 100 percent on the game and doing the very best we possibly can."

It's an interesting comment from a coach who has made it very clear that he wanted to build a "bully" in Buffalo. His team shut out the Patriots after trying to intimidate New England's rookie quarterback before the game. Did his team not benefit somehow from what occurred before kickoff that day?

He doesn't think so.

"It had nothing to do with our team . . . Absolutely nothing," he said. "You know, those things happen every now and then but it was no big deal. It did absolutely nothing for us."

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but...can I have your jersey?

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but...can I have your jersey?

Tom Brady has fans everywhere, apparently. Even in Pittsburgh. Even on the Steelers roster. 

Showtime's Inside the NFL caught video of Brady meeting with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before Sunday's game between New England and Pittsburgh. 

The pair hugged near the 50-yard line at Heinz Field. Brady called Roethlisberger "big guy." Roethlisberger, who was out with a knee injury, told Brady he wanted to play "so bad."


Then Roethlisberger became a fan. And like many of them, he had a request. 

"Um, hey, listen," he said. "I've never done this before, but I would love to get a jersey at some point. It'd mean...There's not many I want to put in my office. You're the best, dude."

Brady was happy to oblige. Just not right at that moment. 

"Sure, I'd love to," Brady said. "I'll get you after the game."