January 28, 2010
Here's a change: An NFL player wants to play more in the Pro Bowl.
While most of his fellow Pro Bowlers are begging out of the game with various minor ailments, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco(notes) is volunteering to do more than just catch. He told the Associated Press Thursday that it's his goal to do some kicking in Sunday's NFL all-star showcase:
"Yesterday was punting, today was kickoffs, tomorrow will be field goals," Ochocinco said of his lobbying effort. "I don't know. We'll see what happens.
"It shouldn't be a problem. If they're going to let me do it, I'm going to do it early in the game before they get serious and they start to play for real."
This wouldn't be the first time Ochocinco has kicked in an NFL game. The receiver successfully kicked an extra point during a Bengals preseason game this season. A long-time soccer fan, Ochocinco often kicks at practice and has joked that he wants to play the position when he retires.
His kicking practice paid off that August evening when kicker Shayne Graham(notes) was nursing a groin injury and Ochocinco was thrust into duty. (He also boomed the second half kickoff to the 9-yard line.) Coach Marvin Lewis might wish he had used Ochocinco more at the position. Graham went 0-2 on field goals in Cincy's 10-point wild card loss to the New York Jets.
As for the Pro Bowl, the AFC coaches should absolutely let Ochocinco take at least one attempt. It's a no-brainer. The only person who might not be happy is the conference's kicker, Dan Carpenter(notes) of the Miami Dolphins. But Carpenter was himself a replacement for San Diego's Nate Kaeding(notes), so he should just be happy to be there.
Nobody cares about the Pro Bowl (this is the first time we've mentioned it on Shutdown Corner this week). People like watching it even less than players like playing in it. To announce that Ochocinco is going to kick for, say, the second quarter is a foolproof way to build some buzz for a game that desperately needs it.
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