Poor start triggers Ocho Cinco to resume talking

Published 5:15 am Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Associated Press

Chad Ocho Cinco has his bluster back.

The chatty receiver kept it low-key during the Cincinnati Bengals’ 0-4 start, saying he didn’t want to become a distraction. With the Dallas Cowboys and buddy Terrell Owens up next on the schedule, he’s at it again.

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‘‘I don’t really have any room to open my mouth,’’ the Pro Bowl receiver said Wednesday, welcoming the cameras to his locker. ‘‘I did all my talking in the offseason, and I think people want me to shut up. I (angered) a lot of people here with some of the things I did and said.

‘‘But we are 0-4, so therefore I think my mouth needs to start running again and get this going. Whether you like me or not, whether you like the stuff I do or not, it ain’t right. We are 0-4 and I’m going to get it stirred back up the way it used to be.’’

The eighth-year receiver unsuccessfully tried to get himself traded in the offseason, alienating fans in Cincinnati. He’s been on good behavior since minicamp, talking about the team instead of himself. A week ago, he said he didn’t want to become a distraction as the team digs out from its poor start.

Something about the Cowboys got his bluster going Wednesday during a conference call with writers in Texas and a session in Cincinnati. He said he would score a touchdown in Dallas and kiss the star on the field out of respect. He predicted that the offense would finally get on track. He challenged the Cowboys’ defensive backs to be at their best.

Ocho Cinco has only one touchdown and 11 catches overall in four games. Asked if Owens, the Cowboys’ outspoken receiver, has given him any advice, he said, ‘‘Actually, T.O. told me the way my numbers are, to ask for the ball.’’

So, will he?

‘‘No,’’ Ocho Cinco said. ‘‘I’m in no position to ask for the ball right now. We are losing. It would be nice to voice my opinion, but I think I’d get killed.’’

Coach Marvin Lewis has been trying to get Ocho Cinco to stay away from comments that could inspire opponents. The receiver made sure that both Lewis and owner Mike Brown were aware he was no longer keeping his mouth shut.

‘‘I told coach Lewis: I’m letting the cat out of the bag,’’ Ocho Cinco said. ‘‘I told Mr. Brown earlier today in practice: I’m letting the cat out of the bag.’’

How did the owner react?

‘‘He ignored me,’’ the receiver said.

During a free-spirited phone interview with reporters in Texas, the receiver was asked if he thought the team’s offseason troubles — 10 players arrested in a 14-month span starting in April 2006 — played a role in bringing it down. Cincinnati made the playoffs in 2005, but has gone 8-8 and 7-9 the last two years.

‘‘Our ’05 season, we were unbelievable,’’ he said. ‘‘Our ’05 season is the year everybody went to jail and got arrested. That year everybody got in trouble. So maybe the bad was a good thing. It sounds dumb to say, but look at it. We have cleaned house and nobody is getting in trouble anymore — no DUIs, no arrests. Now we’re getting … whooped.

‘‘I don’t know. Maybe I should go out, have a drink, get in trouble. I don’t know what it is.’’