Normally, I would withhold my criticism when an accomplished veteran misses what are supposed to be “voluntary” practices.
When a player has consistently produced with the same team, under the same coach, within the same system, there is an accumulation of equity and trust. However, when there is a coaching change or shift in scheme or philosophy, even the most talented and productive players should participate in voluntary practices to expedite the adaptation to offseason changes.
Quarterbacks need all hands on deck when seeking to develop chemistry and continuity with wide receivers. Communication is the glue helping five offensive linemen become one complete unit.
In this case, Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco has used up the equity earned by multiple Pro Bowl appearances. His absence from the Bengals’ organized team activities hasn’t only hurt the potential growth of the team’s passing game but could affect Carson Palmer‘s chance of reclaiming his status as one of the league’s best signal-callers.
Ochocinco once was a consistent, highly-productive player, but recently, he has become more known for drops, drama and distractions. His once-flypaper hands are no longer reliable. His river dance has lost its rhythm, and sadly, his act now resembles both a comedy and a tragedy. He once was a hard worker who slept in the team’s facility to steer clear of mediocrity. Now he is asleep at the wheel, and that’s the direction he’s headed.
With his equity all used up, there is only one thing left for Ochocinco to do: Volunteer to participate, practice and play to sharpen skills that have grown dull.
— Solomon Wilcots