- Associated Press - Thursday, July 29, 2010

GEORGETOWN, KY. (AP) - Terrell Owens arrived fashionably late, received a white jersey with his favorite number, and got a smattering of applause for doing even the simplest thing.

Every catch was an event.

A few thousand fans showed up for Owens‘ first practice with the Cincinnati Bengals, who signed him to a one-year deal on Thursday evening, then got a glimpse of what the 36-year-old receiver has left.

“He hasn’t slowed down,” said quarterback Carson Palmer, who worked out with Owens in California this month. “He’s a guy that’s kind of ageless and he’s still got a lot left in the tank.”

Owens enjoyed the reception _ fans cheering every catch and screaming his name to lure him over for autographs when the two-hour workout ended.

“I think this team is special,” Owens said. “I really feel that there is something around the corner for this team. With me being here, (it) has really created a buzz. I think the guys feel the energy.”

The energy came a bit late.

Owens missed an overnight flight that would have brought him to town earlier in the day, allowing for a proper introduction. Instead, he caught a later flight, rolled in less than an hour before an evening practice and quickly suited up.

He and buddy Chad Ochocinco were the last two to jog onto the field, drawing loud applause. Owens occasionally waved to the fans in appreciation, but played it low-key throughout the practice.

So began the TO-and-Ocho era.

“It’s a circus,” Palmer said. “Him and Chad, them being them. It’s funny. I was laughing.”

Palmer knows that Owens has a reputation for turning on his quarterback. Owens got a chance to join the Bengals in part because Palmer lobbied to sign him after watching their workouts in California.

“I think Carson being that quarterback that can get the ball up and down the field at any given point on the field _ that makes my mouth water,” Owens said. “I’ve longed to have a quarterback like Carson.”

Now he’s got him. Got his favorite number, too.

Owens wore his customary No. 81 at practice, part of a deal he made with the previous owner. Receiver Antonio Bryant got the number when the Bengals chose him over Owens in the offseason, giving him a four-year deal. Bryant agreed to give up his number.

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