Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco isn't sure where he will be playing in 2011, but told the NFL Network that, "Cincinnati is all I know. The Bengals is all I know. That city, the fans is all I know. I will continue to embrace that."
The Bengals picked up the option on Ochocinco's contract, but that doesn't mean he be with the team next season. He is due $6 million in 2011, but it's all in base salary.
Ochocinco has battled with coach Marvin Lewis a bit publicly since the end of the season, and said he thinks Monday's firing of offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski was done to appease disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer.
"I think Carson made a demand. Changes are being made already I guess to accommodate his demand," Ochocinco told NFL Network. "I guess the organization will do whatever it takes to make him happy.
"Our offensive coordinator was fired yesterday, for whatever reason, I'm not sure why. We've had some of our best years with him at the helm. I'm not sure where that firing came from. I'm sure other changes are soon to come."
--RB Cedric Benson said he was glad to see the Bengals make a change to the offense following the firing of coordinator Bob Bratkowski on Monday.
"It's good to see the Bengals making some moves," Benson told the team's website. "It's not just about going back to that '09 style, but being able to fit everything together and use our talent. And we've got a lot of talent and I don't see any dropoff if those guys (Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco) don't come back."
--For the third time under Marvin Lewis, the Bengals will be one of the coaching staffs in the Senior Bowl. The Bengals will coach the North squad in Mobile, Ala., beginning on Jan. 24 with the game taking place on Jan. 29 at 4 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
The Bengals have also coached the North the previous two times (2004 and '09) and lost.
"I have always felt that if we're not going to be coaching in the NFL playoffs, we should go to work and get to know some of the new prospects as well as we can," Lewis said.
Lewis and his staff used the Senior Bowl two years ago to their advantage, selecting four players off of that year's roster in the draft -- LB Rey Maualuga, P Kevin Huber, C Jonathan Luigs and CB Morgan Trent. WR/PR Quan Cosby and RB Cedric Peerman also played in the Senior Bowl that year.
A staff coaching two times in three years is not unprecedented. Under Mike Nolan, the 49ers coached in it for three straight years (2006-08). Nolan was also the defensive coordinator on Miami's staff last year.
--The contract of safety Cary Harris has been voided by the league due to a procedural/paperwork issue. Instead of redoing the contract, the Bengals have decided to release him to free agency instead of re-signing him.
A second-year NFL player, Harris was signed to the Bengals practice squad for the last three games of 2010.
--Former Bengals coach Bill "Tiger" Johnson, whose 17 years with the organization included three seasons as head coach, died on Jan. 7 at his home in Ft. Myers, Fla., after a long illness. Johnson was 84.
Johnson was around at the franchise's inception, serving as offensive line coach on Paul Brown's staff. He remained in that position until 1976 when he became head coach after Brown's retirement. He was 18-15 from 1976-78.
After stints as an assistant with Tampa Bay (1979-82) and Detroit (1983-84), Johnson returned to the Bengals in 1985 and served as tight ends coach under Sam Wyche for six seasons, including in 1988 when the franchise made its second appearance in the Super Bowl. Ironically, the Bengals were beaten in that game by San Francisco, who Johnson played for for nine years (1948-56) as a center and linebacker.
"He was one of those steadying influences for a young coach and it was great having him down the hall. Having Tiger and Paul Brown down the hall wasn't too shabby," Wyche said. "He was loved by a lot of players and coaches."
Super Bowl XXIII was also the last NFL game coached by Bill Walsh, who Brown passed over in 1976 to give the head job to Johnson in a move that later would be met with much criticism. Walsh, who was the offensive coordinator under Brown, left following the '75 season to become head coach at Stanford. In '79, Walsh joined the 49ers and led them to three Super Bowl titles, two of which came against the Bengals.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"The thing about him, which was typical about being a member on Paul Brown's staff is he was a great teacher. He just got it and knew how to impart knowledge." -- Dave Lapham on the passing of Bill "Tiger" Johnson.
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