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Ochocinco on coach Lewis: 'Maybe he doesn't like me for real'

Chad Ochocinco's rollicking offseason continued Thursday when the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver roared around the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway with NASCAR driver Jeff Burton.

"I asked him to let loose," Ochocinco said. "Please don't waste my time. Step on the gas."

Ochocinco has been a busy man in Atlanta. In addition to crossing high-speed racing off his bucket list, he's continuing his offseason workouts and shooting a cameo in the latest "American Pie" sequel. Somewhere in between, he called in to an Atlanta radio station, sharing his thoughts on a number of issues, including his strained relationship with Marvin Lewis.

The Bengals' coach has been critical of his receiver in comments dating to last season. Ochocinco didn't hold back when asked where his relationship with his coach stands.

"I don't know. Hopefully Marvin is doing this maybe to help me out," Ochocinco told WQXI-AM. "Maybe he's trying to cause some friction between himself and me. Maybe he doesn't like me for real. He doesn't like me, well, I don't like him either.

"Maybe he's trying to do this to show (Bengals owner) Mike Brown, 'I don't think I can coincide with Chad,' but damn it, I can't coincide with him either, and if he really feels that way, when I see him, I'm going to whoop his (butt)."

Ochocinco has played his entire 10-season career with the Bengals, but it's believed he could be released or asked to take a pay cut when the NFL lockout is lifted. He didn't sound like a player itching to return to his familiar stomping grounds.

"It doesn't matter where I'm at," Ochocinco said. "People can say what they want. Wherever I am, I'm going to make it happen. And they always say the grass ain't greener on the other side, but my damn grass been brown for a long time."

Another longtime Bengal whose career with the team is in doubt is Carson Palmer. The quarterback has said he'll retire if he's not traded by the team, because he's fed up with the culture of losing that has enveloped the franchise.

Ochocinco doesn't believe Palmer is bluffing.

"He's not playing. When somebody goes out of character like that, especially a white guy with red hair that grows a random beard," Ochocinco said. "When he says he's going to do something, he's going to do it. He's not playing."

Ochocinco also has worked out with two of football's most controversial players this offseason, former New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress and former Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor. Ochocinco raved about Pryor -- who left Ohio State in April amid scandal surrounding improper benefits -- praising his timing and arm strength.

Ochocinco also was complimentary of Burress, who recently was released from a 22-month prison stay on gun charges.

"Plax looks like he's ready to play. ... He hasn't missed a beat," Ochocinco said. "We trained all last week together (and) he looks really good ... a lot bigger, too."

Ochocinco, a six-time Pro Bowl pick, took the ride with Burton about six weeks after visiting the Professional Bull Riders circuit near Atlanta to ride a 1,500-pound bull for 1.5 seconds. He also has tried out for Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer and said he next plans to wrestle an alligator.

"You can't scare him," Burton said. "The man has ridden a bull. He runs routes across the middle of the field. He wants to wrestle an alligator. How do you scare an athlete like that?"

Ochocinco ended his day at the speedway with a new level of respect for NASCAR drivers.

"How the hell they are able to do that with 30 other drivers on the track is beyond me," he said, adding that NASCAR "really is a sport and it does take skill."

Asked in an ESPN interview if he worried about losing a limb battling alligators, Ochocinco said he already had a backup plan in mind.

"If I lose an arm wrestling alligators, I can just be the Bengals' kicker," said Ochocinco, who kicked an extra point in a 2009 preseason game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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