The former ‘UNEMPLOYED BLACK GUY,’ Ochocinco, will excel as Chad Johnson this autumn for the Miami Dolphins

With the proper mindset, Chad Johnson can still play.

Due to recently marrying Evelyn Lozada, purposely eccentric Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Ochocinco finally changed his last name back to Johnson earlier this afternoon.

“I’m refocused and locked in. Time to get back to the old me,” said Johnson, 34, who tweeted “UNEMPLOYED BLACK GUY” hours after being released in June by the New England Patriots. “I’m just doing it for the marriage. It has nothing to do with football. Ochocinco is still in me. It’s just my middle name.”

Johnson, who caught a mere 15 passes for 276 yards in New England last autumn, altered his legal surname before the 2008 season to wear his nickname on his jersey.

After shipping hemorrhoid Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears in March for two third-round draft picks, the Dolphins badly needed to bolster their receiving corps.

Johnson, a Miami native selected by the Cincinnati Bengals out of Oregon State University with the 36th pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, is a three-time All-Pro who led the AFC in receiving yards in 2003 and 2005.

The man once known as Ochocinco, who has snagged 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 68 touchdowns in eleven seasons as a professional, could certainly help Miami whose best receiver prior to his acquisition was running back Reggie Bush.

Although often perceived as a bitchy diva, in actuality, Johnson is a decent guy who remains capable of excelling on the gridiron.

In all likelihood, competent quarterback David Garrard, who has thrown 89 touchdowns, in comparison to 54 interceptions, for 16,003 yards since debuting with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002, will emerge as the starter for the Dolphins.

Granted, Garrard, a 2009 Pro Bowl selection, is not exactly akin to Johnny Unitas.

Nevertheless, the former East Carolina University standout can play and he and Johnson undoubtedly have the ability to flourish together.

If Chad Johnson is truly “refocused and locked in,” expect the man donning number Ochocinco to make a positive impact in South Beach this season.

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