Because I am a huge fan of the Miami Dolphins I am always keeping a watchful eye on the player moves they make in the offseason. I have to admit when they signed Chad Ochocinco this offseason I was a bit taken aback. However, Ochocinco has proven to be less of a glitz and glamour player and is now looking like a receiver who is on a mission to make some plays. This resembles the "old days" for Ochocinco, when he went by his given last name, Johnson. Now, the Chad Johnson name is back as he has officially, and legally, changed his last name again and hopefully his former production will come with it.
The First Change
Chad Ochocinco, or Johnson now, first changed his name back in 2008. This was so he could wear his nickname on the back of his jersey come game time and not get in trouble with the NFL for doing so. But it seems that with the name change another change came as well. Looking at his career statistics it is clear that his best seasons came before the name change. Since entering the NFL in 2001, Johnson has had seven seasons where he went over the 1,000 yard mark in receiving yards. Before the name change to Ochocinco he had six and since then only one.
Changing it Back
While he said a couple different times that he might change his last name back to Johnson for different reasons, in the end it was a woman who helped him make the change. Due to his recent marriage to Evelyn Lozada, the sometimes brash wide receiver decided to go with a more real last name for his bride as opposed to his nickname.
Back to Johnson, Back to Production?
Because I am a fan of the Miami Dolphins I really don't care too much whether I see Ochocinco or Johnson on a jersey when the 2012 season rolls around, I just care about his production. With the departure of Brandon Marshall the Fins will need a lot of help at the wide receiver position and while I expect others to step up, I would still love to see the old Chad Johnson come in and make an impact.
So hopefully Chad Johnson's return to his given last name will also be accompanied by a return to his original production in receiving yards and he will have a banner season. If he does manage to have a career year, then Dolphins fans everywhere will owe a debt of gratitude to his new wife and her influence of getting Chad Johnson back just in time to play for the Dolphins.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal "Dolfan" and fan of the NFL since he was six years old when he met Dan Marino and several other Miami Dolphins players. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Dolphins games each season and enjoys writing about the NFL and the Miami Dolphins in particular.
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