Update: Ocho's helping hands; Simmons back

Posted Jan 16, 2010

Updated: 11:05 p.m.

Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is going back to his hometown of Miami for his sixth Pro Bowl later this month, but he wants to lend a hand first.

He thinks he can get NFL rushing leader Chris Johnson to agree to a foot race with the loser donating his Pro Bowl game check to the Haitian relief fund, a number in the $40,000 range. Ochocinco says Degree, one of his endorsements, has agreed to add $10,000. Plus, he’s working to raise other funds for the earthquake victims via his prodigious Twitter account.

“I haven’t talked to Chris yet, but I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t want to do it,” The Ocho said Friday night during a trip to Orlando, Fla. “I wish I wasn’t playing in the Pro Bowl because that would mean we were still playing. I wish it was Wednesday and Thursday and Coach (Marvin) Lewis was yelling at me getting us ready.”

Ochocinco said he has his teammates to thank for his first Pro Bowl selection since 2007 and he wishes they could join him. He’s hoping to use it as a launching pad for the 2010 season and he’s keeping an eye on what the Bengals are going to do during the offseason.

“I’m looking forward to it. We’re going to be fired up; we want to go farther than we did this year,” he said. “And it will be interesting to see what they do in the draft and what other acquisitions they bring in here.”

The Ocho is also going to do some charity work in this country when his bus tour gears up Thursday morning at Paul Brown Stadium with 10 fans chosen off Twitter and heads to Miami. With The Ocho picking up the tab, the bus is stopping at homeless shelters and children's hospitals along the way with everyone flying back to Cincinnati on Sunday.

SIMMONS BACK: Special teams coach Darrin Simmons confirmed Saturday night that he'll return for an eighth season, which means the Bengals won't have a change in coordinators. The club announced the re-signing of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski has indicated he would be back.

Shayne Graham's two missed short field goals in the Wild Card game obscured the season-long production Simmons got from two rookies.

Wide receiver Quan Cosby finished third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL with an 11.9-yard punt return average that was the highest for the Bengals since Mike Martin's NFL-best 15.7 in 1984. Punter Kevin Huber put up some of the best numbers of the past decade for the club. His 43.2-yard average was tied for second best in the last 11 years. His 36.3 net was also the second best since 1999.    



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