The Chad Ochocinco Era with the New England Patriots has begun with, among other activities, a request for a group hug. The Albert Haynesworth Era, on the other hand, has to wait a while longer, at least for the big defensive lineman to take the field.
The Pats held their first practice in full pads Saturday and Ochocinco was the clear star. Every time the receiver caught a pass, the fans cheered. They cheered for him more than anyone, including Tom Brady.
Then, when practice was finished, Ochocinco provided his first Patriot memory. He actually was reltively low key during a six-minute meeting with reporters, although highly entertaining, too.
``I probably won't be talking to the media that much. I just want to play ball,'' he said.
Obviously someone already had spoken to him about toning down his act.
``There's a certain way the Patriots do it,'' he said.
But he is what he is. He does things differently. As the six-minute session, held on the practice field, was breaking up. He asked for a group hug. He actually did. And he was serious. He leaned in toward reporters, although he received a less-than-enthusiastic reception from the reporters.
Only minutes later Ochocinco, a prolific tweeter on Twitter, added one more thing.
``Hi, it's Saturday and I'm in love with you guys,'' he tweeted. ``I've no idea why I'm so geeked, but it's a really good feeling. Love me back and smile.''
The other big name the Patriots traded for, Haynesworth, was not at practice. Belichick said, ``there are a few things we've got to get straightened out'' before Haynesworth can take the field. Asked if Haynesworth had passed the conditioning test, the coach spoke around it, saying only that he was not ready to play.