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Ochocinco has long way to go with Dolphins playbook

When the Miami Dolphins signed Chad Ochocinco last week, new coach Joe Philbin had another line added to his list of job requirements.

Ochocinco will always be a media curiosity, so answering questions about the wide receiver is now a near-daily task for the coach.

On Tuesday, Philbin was asked if Ochocinco could be a No. 1 receiver in Miami's offense.

"Whether he's number one, two, or whatever, we're going to look for the same things," Philbin said. "We're going to look for someone who (can) go out and catch the ball consistently, get open against man coverage, play the ball down the field, and block for his teammates. So how he (Ochocinco) fits that compared to everyone else will determine where he is."

Artfully dodged, Mr. Philbin. How about the playbook? After his epic struggles with the New England Patriots, how is he digesting the Dolphins' gameplan?

"It's early yet, but I think, so far so good. You know (assistant coaches) Ken (O'Keefe) and Phil (McGeoghan) have been keeping a close eye on him, but put yourself in his shoes," Philbin said. "We teach our offense in nine segments, and he missed seven of them, and that's 78 percent that he missed, so he's behind a little bit."

Early reports are promising, but Ochocinco's ability to play catch-up might ultimately determine how long he sticks in Miami. At 34 and three years removed from his last 1,000-yard season, he can't expect to coast on natural ability.

He'll have to get with the gameplan or get going.

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