The Falcons could have the inside track to land six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Ochocinco if he becomes a free agent.
He’s currently under contract to the Cincinnati Bengals, but they could release him when the lockout is lifted.
The Falcons hired Bob Bratkowski, the Bengals former offensive coordinator, to be their new quarterbacks coach in February.
According to Ochocinco, Bratkowski has been a longtime supporter.
“Coach Bratkowski is the reason why I’m with the Bengals,” Ochocinco said after riding a bull at the Gwinnett Arena on Saturday. “He was my coach at the Senior Bowl when I was coming out. He went to bat for me. They weren’t going to take me. But from what he saw at the Senior Bowl before the draft is the reason why he stood on the table for me and that’s why they drafted me.”
Ochocinco would not say if he wants to become a Falcon if, as has been widely speculated, his days in Cincinnati are indeed numbered.
“It’s a lockout, man,” Ochocinco said. “I’m riding bulls. I don’t want to talk about football.”
Ochocinco nearly had his legs stomped on by a 1,500-pound bull named Deja Blu. However, he didn’t consider riding the bull as a risky proposition.
“Every down is a risk to my career,” Ochocinco said. “Every time that I wake up in the morning, it’s a risk to life in general. I don’t live life like that. One of the things about me is that I’m extremely interesting. I’m unpredictable and I am willing to do anything. If God said it was OK to ride, which he did, he said ‘I got you.’ I went out there and rode.”
If Ochocinco stayed on the bull for eight seconds he was going to rename he bull “Marvin Lewis.” That probably would not have gone over well with Falcons coach Mike Smith, who is friends with Lewis.
“I’m sure my coaches were probably pissed,” Ochocinco said. “I would be too. I’m sure the NFL was pissed, but I don’t follow their rules anyway.”
His bull riding days are over.
“Yeah, that’s it,” Ochocinco said. “One and done.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog