FOXBOROUGH - Chad Ochocinco saw precious few snaps during the Patriots’ come-from-behind win over the Cowboys yesterday, and was targeted just once by Tom Brady.
And that one pass attempt was a miss, with Brady throwing to where Ochocinco was supposed to be had he run the slant route it is believed he was supposed to run.
It was the first play of a drive that ended with Aaron Hernandez’s lost fumble, but it was emblematic of the ongoing problems the veteran receiver has been having since arriving from Cincinnati via trade at the start of training camp.
After the play, Brady could be seen yelling at Ochocinco as the wideout walked back toward the huddle, and fair or not, the exchange brought back memories of the Joey Galloway Experiment, a failure by any measure.
It has now been more than 10 weeks since Ochocinco arrived in New England, and though he didn’t have the offseason to work on his timing with Brady or begin learning an offense far more complex than the one he was part of with the Bengals for a decade, he has taken part in every practice since arriving.
But he still is not on the field when New England runs its no-huddle package, and there are still times when either Brady or another teammate is telling him where he is supposed to be lining up.
Ochocinco declined to speak with reporters after the game.
With this being the Patriots bye week, every member of the team, from coaching staff to players, will be evaluated. There will be discussions about Ochocinco, who has nine catches for 136 yards through six games.
Part of the discussion when it comes to the 33-year old Ochocinco likely will be what the Patriots would lose if they cut ties: the team gave a fifth-round pick in 2012 as well as a sixth-rounder in 2013 to the Bengals. Ochocinco received a $4.5 million signing bonus as soon as he joined the team, and his base salary of $1 million is guaranteed because he was on the roster in Week 1.
The trade deadline is Tuesday and yesterday the Denver Post reported that the Broncos have made it known that top receiver Brandon Lloyd is available, as is the team’s No. 2 receiver, Eddie Royal.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen on Twitter yesterday said “the Patriots’ interest in Lloyd hit a wall on contract but makes sense.’’ Lloyd is in the final year of his contract; he led the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards last year.
A league source said yesterday that Bill Belichick has always liked Lloyd as a player. Acquiring Lloyd would make sense because he has knowledge of the New England offensive system after having played for former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels when McDaniels was the Denver head coach.
Royal has been dealing with a groin injury since the second game of the season and has not played since.
Defensive end Andre Carter has put up a couple of strong performances and yesterday he popped up on the stat sheet.
Carter sacked Tony Romo twice, the 10th time in his career he has collected at least two sacks in one game. In the third quarter, his sack on second goal resulted in an 11-yard loss and eventually forced the Cowboys to kick a field goal. He had another sack in the first quarter for a 6-yard loss.
“He’s been playing very well for us,’’ Belichick said. “Andre is very athletic and he’s powerful. He’s a strong guy. He’s got a good power rush and he can also rush off the edge. He comes hard every play. He’s got a great motor. Nobody plays with more effort than he does. He T’s it up every time. Sometimes he just outworks those guys.’’
Tom Brady was spotted wearing a wrap/ice bag on his right arm on the sideline yesterday, shortly after his 5-yard scramble in the second quarter. Brady slid a bit late, and may have gotten hit on his way to the ground.
He did not miss a snap.
He is often spotted in the locker room with his throwing shoulder and elbow encased in ice, likely preventative maintenance for the 12-year veteran, who has been on the field for every offensive snap this season. He was not asked about the in-game wrap in his postgame press conference.
Cornerback Kyle Arrington picked up his team-high and career-best fourth interception of the season.
“Contrary to belief, my hands aren’t all that bad,’’ said Arrington, who picked off Romo on Dallas’s first possession. “When I saw Romo throw it, we were trying to do a lot of disguises throughout the whole game and definitely earlier in the game. We tried to give them a man-to-man look and then came out and played zone. I was in the right place at the right time.’’
The Patriots will be off today and then again Thursday through Monday, returning to the stadium Oct. 25 . . . The Patriots’ inactives included safety Josh Barrett (thumb/hamstring), safety Sergio Brown (chest), corner Ras-I Dowling (hip), wide receiver Julian Edelman (ankle), quarterback Ryan Mallett, linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee), and offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer (back). Vollmer was a bit of a surprise after being limited in practice, but the Patriots may be giving him another week to heal . . . Wes Welker secured his sixth touchdown of the season and is on track to pass his total (seven) from last year. He has a career-high of eight touchdowns, which he grabbed in 2007 . . . Rob Gronkowski tied his career high for receptions with seven . . . The Patriots are 5-1 for the for the eighth time in franchise history.