The veteran wide receiver Tuesday said he still has a lot of work to do, but is starting to feel comfortable with his new teammates in the New England Patriots’ offense.
He gave fellow receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch and quarterback Tom Brady credit for his progress.
”I’ve been able to assume a lot of information in a short period of time,” he said, while adding ”there’s still a lot of work to do.”
His play during training camp has been inconsistent – a sensational catch followed by a drop – but he has had to get used to Brady and a new system without the benefit of offseason workouts.
Off the field, he still hasn’t found a home in the Foxborough area, but is toying with a novel way of getting to know the area.
”I’m going to do something different, I’m actually going to stay with a fan for the first two, three weeks of the season,” he said. ”That should be fun, until I get myself acclimated and learn my way around.”
He hasn’t picked out the fan, but there are a few qualifiers.
”I’m not sure how it’s going to work, but they have to have Internet and have to have Xbox,” he said. ”That’s about it.”
The number of tweets by Ochocinco, who has more than 2 million followers on Twitter, have decreased since he became a Patriot on July 29.
He was asked Tuesday if he could both be himself and still be a Patriot and he just smiled.
After signing with New England, Ochocinco said he ”will always be me,” but he also said he was ”going to blend in and do it the Patriot way, which is win. It has been a part of my game to always be me, but there is a certain way the Patriots do it and it’s easy for me.”
Newly signed veteran defensive lineman Gerard Warren became the 19th defensive lineman in camp when he signed a one-year contract Monday.
Warren, who had four sacks and 27 tackles in 2010, said he relishes the competition.
”Only the strong will survive,” he said.
Warren said he hoped he would get a chance to return, but wasn’t sure until he heard from the team.
”He’s a man of his word,” said Warren about Bill Belichick when the coach invited him back.
”You get that message of ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you, you have to think long and hard. But he told me if it was possible for me to be back, he’d give me a call.”
Warren said he was glad to come back.
”Last year was a great experience,” he said. ”It didn’t finish the way we wanted it to, but I know the purpose and direction of this team and I wanted to be a part of it again.”
He cited four qualities he found during his time in New England that made him eager to be a Patriot again: ”It’s the preparation, the attention to detail, the camaraderie, and the will to not give up.”
NOTES: Belichick said he doubted he would play veterans more than he usually does in the first preseason game against Jacksonville on Thursday. He also said it was ”probably right” that players who haven’t been practicing won’t play against Jacksonville. Belichick said the newly acquired Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis are both ”day to day” when it comes to returning to the field. Haynesworth has missed the past four practices. ”He’s in the ‘day to day’ category and getting some treatment,” Belichick said. ”He’ll be out there as soon as he can.” He said Ellis is in a similar situation. Ellis has been placed on the physically unable to perform list. He can resume practicing whenever he is ready, and still counts against the 90-man roster limit. ”He’s making progress and getting better,” Belichick said.