Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco survived for another week on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars on Tuesday’s results show, so Wednesday ’s trip to Cincinnati with partner Cheryl Burke is on.
The Ocho plans to be at Paul Brown Stadium Wednesday afternoon to see some of the guys, work out, and sit down with head coach Marvin Lewis. Then he and Burke will hit an unknown dance studio. He’ll work out Thursday and Friday mornings at PBS before going to the studio in the afternoon and evening. It sounds like they’ll jet back to Hollywood Saturday to get ready for Monday night’s show.
“The travel shouldn’t be a problem. A lot of the people on the show travel,” The Ocho said. “Your life can’t stop. I want to come back to show the Bengals and Coach Lewis that football is No. 1 with me. If there are any doubts, I want to end them.”
Ochocinco said he’s not discourged by the judges’ low scores in last Monday’s outing and is conviced he’s getting better.
“I don’t know why they’ve been so harsh,” he said. “Cheryl tells me to keep hanging in there. I know I’m getting better as a dancer. I’ll tell you what, I’m not leaving. If I do, then I’ll just be back there with y’all.’
He was stunned to hear that the ratings in Cincinnati nearly double every other city.
“That’s another reason we’re coming back,” he said. “We want to thank everybody.”
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With the schedule released Tuesday night, Bengals running back Cedric Benson doesn’t buy the notion that the NFL needs to put division games at the tail end of the season to secure a more competitive December.
He thinks coaches of teams that have already clinched a postseason berth should be allowed to sit players. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was vindicated for benching Benson in last year’s regular-season finale when Benson came back six days later and set a Bengals playoff record with 169 yards in the Wild Card loss to the Jets.
“If it’s not broke don’t fix it,” Benson said. “Coaches do it so they can have the best in the playoffs. It’s a strategy. You saw what happened. Coaches have to compete against each other, too.” …
What are the first things players look at when they get the schedule?
If you’re wide receiver Antonio Bryant, it is Monday night games.
“You definitely want to get a chance to have the spotlight,” he said. “There are only two teams playing in most of the prime-time games. It’s just an opportunity to light it up for your family and friends. Everybody puts that on their calendar.”
If you’re safety Chris Crocker, it is who and where with an eye on the AFC North games.
“Kind of break the season up into quarters,” he said. “You kind of want to get (the division games) early. The second half of the season you want to get them early also because those games are more important than the rest of the games. You kind of want to get those guys first, especially early in the season when you’re healthy and have everybody ready to go.” …
Left guard Evan Mathis, a restricted free agent, signed his one-year tender. Mathis, heading into his sixth season, started seven games last year in a rotation with Nate Livings when both suffered injuries during the season.
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With all eyes on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, nowhere is the attention more intense than in the league’s locker rooms. On Tuesday during the weekly media session in the Bengals’ room, safety Chris Crocker told you why.
“I’m definitely interested. I’m looking at it through other players,” Crocker said. “Say a guy… isn’t convicted of something and he gets suspended. I’m sure a lot of people are looking at what’s going to happen with him. I think it’s important. We all know that Goodell has come down pretty strict on a lot of guys who haven’t been convicted.
“Roethlisberger is the same. Just because he’s a franchise quarterback, won two Super Bowls, and he’s kind of the face of that franchise, his punishment should be dealt (with) the same as everybody else.”
The impact of the impending suspension on the AFC North is secondary in Crocker’s mind, but significant.
“It will affect everybody. You can’t replace him. He’s not somebody that you can just put in another and the wheels keep turning,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting.”
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