The newly re-renamed Chad Johnson speaks with reporters at Miami Dolphins… (J Pat Carter / Associated…)
Chad Ochocinco no longer exists -- at least, not legally. But the Miami Dolphins receiver who wears No. 85 says his moniker of the last four years will always be a part of him, even though he had his name legally changed back to Chad Johnson on Monday.
"Ochocinco is still in me," he told ESPN.com. "It's just my middle name."
Johnson had been hinting at switching back to his given name in the past couple of years and changed it on his mega-popular Twitter account a couple of weeks ago. Apparently new wife Evelyn Lozada wanted a real last name (what's her problem, anyway?).
"I'm just doing it for the marriage," Johnson said.
But will he play like the Chad Johnson of old? He had more than 1,100 yards in receptions in six straight seasons, including two over 1,400, leading up to the name change just before the 2008 season. He hasn't done it since, topping 1,000 just once in those four years.
Chances are, his drop-off in production had a lot more to do with age (34) rather than the name on his jersey. But the six-time Pro Bowl selection has to be better than he showed last year with the New England Patriots, when he had career lows in receiving yards (276) and receptions (15) to go with just one touchdown.
"I'm refocused and locked in," Johnson said. "Time to get back to the old me."
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