Ochocinco receives praise from Jackson
FOXBOROUGH - Raiders coach Hue Jackson is a fan of Chad Ochocinco, but he doesn’t want the Patriots receiver to break out on Sunday, when the teams play each other in Oakland.
Jackson was the wide receivers coach with Ochocinco’s former team, the Bengals, from 2004-06.
“Chad Johnson is my son,’’ Jackson said. “I know you guys probably have a hard time with him, he’s kind of colorful, but he is a tremendous young man. I really adore him, but I won’t on Sunday.
“I helped raise that young man in Cincinnati. He played for me, did wonders for me, and he is a tremendous competitor and a doggone good football player, but he knows that this is about winning and he understands that.’’
Ochocinco has just five receptions for 87 yards in his first three games as a Patriot. His struggles include a key drop in last Sunday’s loss to the Bills. But quarterback Tom Brady said the entire offense needs to improve.
“It’s been three games for all of us together in this offense: Chad, Wes [Welker], Deion [Branch], all of us as receiver-quarterback combinations,’’ Brady said. “We are trying to do better each week. We’re trying to make improvements each week. We’re not where we need to be [and] we are not where we are going to be.’’
Jackson wouldn’t be surprised if Ochocinco is putting pressure on himself.
“I think a lot of players are like that,’’ Jackson said. “I think when you’re used to having success and things have gone for you the way his career has gone up to this point, I mean, it’s hard when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But one thing I know about him, he’s going to continue to work. He’ll do everything that’s asked of him. He’s a tremendous pro, I’m sure he’s working at it.’’
Not feeling well Guard Logan Mankins did not practice yesterday because of an illness, marking the first time he’s missed a practice in his career while part of the active roster.
Tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back), tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee) and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) also did not participate in the full-pads practice. Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back) returned on a limited basis after not playing against the Bills.
Other Patriots who were limited: cornerbacks Kyle Arrington (chest), Leigh Bodden (groin), and Ras-I Dowling (hip), safety Patrick Chung (hand), defensive lineman Shaun Ellis (knee), linebackers Gary Guyton (hamstring) and Jerod Mayo (thigh), punter Zoltan Mesko (left knee), wide receiver Taylor Price (hamstring), and offensive lineman Ryan Wendell (calf).
Among the injured Raiders, quarterback Jason Campbell (foot) was limited and running back Darren McFadden (shoulder/groin) fully participated.
Wait-and-see mode Hernandez has not practiced since injuring his left knee in the Week 2 victory over the Chargers.
“I’m feeling good,’’ he said. “I just take it day by day and work with the trainers and try to get back as soon as possible.’’
Hernandez didn’t know when he will be cleared to practice.
Familiar surroundings The trip to Oakland will be a sort of homecoming for Brady, who is from San Mateo, Calif.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been there. The last time we played there, I think, was in ’02,’’ Brady said. “I think my parents are the most happy, they don’t have to come very far this week. So for us, it’s a road game, it’s an important one. We’ve got to go out there and try to win.’’
Wild world Raiders fans are a passionate bunch, just ask offensive lineman Brian Waters.
Waters made regular visits to Oakland as a member of the Chiefs for 11 seasons, and said one memory sticks out.
“The first time I ever saw an old lady in a wheelchair shooting you the bird with both fingers, that’s about as crazy as you can get,’’ Waters said.
Waters said he and his teammates will have to be prepared for the environment at O.co Coliseum.
“From the time you drive in to the end of the game, you’re probably going to see a lot of different things, some good, some bad,’’ he said. “But the biggest thing as a player going in there and the one thing that you try to get across to the young guys as much as possible is don’t focus on those things. Try not to pay attention to those things, because they can be a distraction. They can be a great distraction if you allow them to.’’
Warren at work Defensive lineman Gerard Warren was at practice yesterday after re-signing with the team. He will wear No. 98 . . . The Patriots signed defensive end Alex Silvestro to the practice squad. The spot became available after the Colts signed linebacker A.J. Edds to their 53-man roster.