Byline: Jennifer Toland
FOXBORO - Chad Ochocinco is his own worst critic.
"I'm the first to judge myself," the Patriots' wide receiver said yesterday. "I'm always aiming for perfection."
He has not reached that point yet, but despite an unproductive preseason during which he and quarterback Tom Brady haven't been totally in sync, Ochocinco insists he is catching on to the Patriots' complex offense.
"I'm doing just fine," Ochocinco said. "I'm not sure why or how it is, but coming from any place where you've been 10 years, to come here and learn the verbiage and learn as much as I have the past three weeks, I've done extremely well. It's been fun. It's been enjoyable."
Ochocinco, the former Bengals receiver, was traded to the Patriots July 28. In the Patriots' second preseason game against Tampa Bay, he caught a touchdown pass, one of his two preseason receptions, which have totaled 14 yards. He was targeted by Brady four times Saturday night in Detroit, but did not have a catch.
"One of those things about being here, being in an organization like this that prides itself on perfection and excellence," Ochocinco said, "I'm sort of putting pressure on myself to be right and be perfect now. Not later. I'm trying to squeeze everything within a shorter time frame. It may be impossible, but if I can aim to be as perfect as possible, I think I'll get up to speed."
On a scale of 1 to 10, Ochocinco ranks his current comfort level in the offense at 7.
"Right now what I'm doing is I'm able to go out and react," Ochocinco said. "As soon as I hear Tom call something, I'm good, I'm set. But I'm still not in that comfort zone where I can just be me, somewhat exhale and `It's on. Let's play.' I think it's my third week. Let's be realistic. This is the highest level of football and this is not easy."
Ochocinco said Brady has been demanding and he likes that.
"He's been a huge help," Ochocinco said.
The two were spotted throughout training camp discussing things and the same has been true on the sidelines during the preseason games.
Ochocinco aspires to have the same on-field connection with Brady that Deion Branch has. Brady and Branch have often talked about their natural chemistry, which picked up where it left off when Branch returned to New England last season after he spent five years in Seattle.
However, Branch has had a quieter preseason than Ochocinco. Branch does not have a reception and Brady has thrown his way only once.
"My job is to go out there...