Chad Ochocinco can't afford a slow start with the Miami Dolphins.
After fizzling out with the New England Patriots amid whispers he couldn't grasp the playbook, the veteran wideout's NFL shelf life is on the rocks. Early reports Tuesday out of South Beach, however, are promising.
Top performer today during OTAs was Chad @Ochocinco. Surprised?- Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) June 19, 2012
Frankly, yes (and wondering what this says about the rest of Miami's roster). With NFL Films cameras on hand to gather early "Hard Knocks" footage, Ochocinco ran with the second team. James Walker of ESPN.com noted Ochocinco was in shape, moving well during drills and catching a flurry of passes.
"He definitely has a lot of ability left," rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "Today was the first day he really flashed."
That never happened in New England. Set adrift in a complex Patriots scheme that asks a lot of its receivers, Ochocinco appeared to lose his confidence.
After wrapping a brief media session with NFL Network's Jeff Darlington and a gaggle of reporters, Ocho appeared to be back in fine form -- for now.
"I love you," he said. "Enjoy the show."