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Bengals host Army; Lewis to tour for USO

Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco arrived just in time Monday for one of the two "fun days" organized by Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis during the voluntary portion of the spring workouts.

After watching parachutists from the Army's Golden Knights land on the Paul Brown Stadium practice field and then eating a tailgate lunch with the soldiers, The Ocho pronounced himself ready to go for the five mandatory practices on Tuesday (two), Wednesday (two) and Thursday (one).

He downplayed the task of learning the revised Bengals passing game, saying he didn't need to be prepped by off-site faxes or e-mails.

"It's not that much different. It's year 10. I don't need a fax," Ochocinco said. "I catch on as soon as I get here."

The Ocho and quarterback Carson Palmer have talked a couple of times since Thursday and Palmer's quotes about his absence from the voluntaries. Feeling his remarks weren't characterized accurately, Palmer told The Ocho what he said.

"He said, 'That's cool,' and we just basically caught up," Palmer said.

The Ocho is still taping his dating show set to begin airing July 11 at 9 p.m. on VHI. He's in the process of whittling a field of 85 women down to one and says one segment is going to be shot in Cincinnati and the last one in Miami.

Lewis is also going to be working during the break between the mandatory camp and the start of training camp the last week of July. The NFL announced Monday that Lewis and three other NFL head coaches (Brad Childress of Minnesota, John Fox of Carolina, Andy Reid of Philadelphia) are going to visit service members in Southwest Asia on a USO tour.

Lewis' admiration for the military's selflessness and discipline can be seen in how he surrounds his team with service personnel and messages. On Sunday he did a tandem jump with a member of the Golden Knights at the Warren County Airport.

"Our military personnel make significant sacrifices on a daily basis to protect and ensure our freedom," Lewis said in a Bengals news release. "This USO trip is one small step that I can take to say 'thank you.' I don't know that you'd call it a 'sacrifice' on my part, because I am very much looking forward to the experience, but I hope my presence can be helpful in letting our troops know how much they are appreciated back home."

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