Considering how efficient the Patriots offense was during the first six games it seems silly to wonder if changes should be made. But Chad Ochocinco was brought in to help beat man coverage on the outside and provide Tom Brady with another weapon. So far that hasn't happened, as the veteran has just nine catches and barely gets on the field.
So, given that lack of production from the No. 3 receiver, this week's Samsonite Make Your Case wonders if the time has come to give second-year wideout Taylor Price a shot at filling the role.
Price spent all but one game of his rookie year as a healthy inactive and has yet to play a single offensive snap this season after battling a hamstring injury early. But he enjoyed a solid training camp and preseason before the injury and could inject some additional athleticism into the equation as a potential option.
Is it time to give Price an opportunity to fill Ochocinco's role?
PFW's Andy Hart says yes ...
As those investment commercials like to tell us, past performance does not guarantee future results. Ochocinco was once a great receiver. Bust because he was once great doesn't mean he is now or ever will be again. Jerry Rice was as great as anyone, should we get him to play? Right now Ochocinco's a detriment to the Patriots passing game. Price was once a lost rookie who couldn't catch up with his teammates. While we've seen that Ochocinco can't live up to his past resume, maybe Price is a different player now, too. Only his change would be for the better.
Are you telling me that Price isn't capable of playing the few snaps a game that Ochocinco has gotten of late? That he can't get on the field to not be on the same page as Brady or to drop a pass or to get called for a false start? Any time I've seen Price be given a chance to contribute - an admittedly limited sample of action - he has made some plays. That happened last year in the finale. It happened this year on the practice field and in preseason action. Let's take the next step and see if it can happen on a regular season game field in a meaningful game.
What's there to lose right now? Ochocinco is a non-factor. I know the team has invested money and draft picks in the aging former Pro Bowler. But at some point you have to stop throwing good money after bad. Cut your losses and move on. That means giving Price the chance to showcase his impressive hands, solid route running and youthful speed to see if he can be both a short- and long-term option at the position.
All I'm saying is give Price a chance!
PFW's Erik Scalavino says no ...
The production has obviously been lacking from Ochocinco thus far but the season is not over yet. At some point the Patriots are going to need production from additional receivers whether it's due to opposing coverages, injuries or some other reason.
Ochocinco continues to work hard and is getting more comfortable with the system every day. As his comfort level increases, so will his production. His experience and talent will eventually work to his advantage and allow him to contribute to the offense on a more regular basis.
Price is an intriguing talent but I find it hard to believe that if he were a better option than Ochocinco right now that he wouldn't be playing at least on a limited basis. Many reports have indicated that Price, too, has struggled with the system after coming out of a basic college offense at Ohio. Perhaps that's the reason for his slow start to his professional career.
The bottom line is Ochocinco has proven during his career that he's a dangerous receiver. He has yet to show that as a Patriot, but I'm willing to be more patient with him and I'd prefer relying on him than a de facto rookie.
Now it's the fans turn to cast their vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll.