Ryan says he fears Ochocinco's skills

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Ryan says he fears Ochocinco's skills

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran

FOXBORO - After the Jets eliminated New England from the playoffs last January, the cry went out for a deep threat. Someone to take the top off the defense. Randy Moss had been that guy with mixed results against the Jets, but that was a minor detail. The Patriots' passing game was too horizontal and needed to get vertical.Enter Ocho. While the trade for once-brilliant Chad Ochocinco didn't bring aboard a deep threat in the mold of Moss, it did bring to town a better, longer downfield threat than the team had in its stable. So far, though, Ocho has been virtually silent. He's got seven catches for 113 inconsequential yards. If he makes substantial strides, he may become an afterthought in this offense. Right now he's barely considered. This Sunday's game against the Jets presents an opportunity for Ocho to make his presence felt. The Jets will undoubtedly focus on Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski. They have proven their potency this season. But will Ochocinco make the Jets quake? "I think first off, no matter what he has done or hasnt done or whatever, this offense is averaging 500 yards a game, so theyre doing something right," said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. "Ochocinco is a talent; if you sleep on him, he can blow a game wide open on you. He is an outstanding vertical receiving threat. I saw the one drop he had or something like that against Buffalo, but this guy is a very talented receiver.""Is" would appear to be a stretch in 2011. But maybe Ocho can start to change that on Sunday. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.