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The newcomers will get their first experience with the Dawg Pound and the rivalry on Sunday afternoon.

“I know a little bit about it,” Dalton said. “We are definitely going to know when we are on the Dawg Pound side of the field. We’ll have to know when we can use silent counts and different things like that. It will be fun to get to know a lot more about it and be a part of it.”

Ochocinco loved to taunt the Browns and the Dawg Pound. He sent Pepto-Bismol to some Browns players one year, and did a leap into the Dawg Pound after a touchdown, only to get doused with beer and jeers. None of the current receivers is inclined to take on the Pound.

“I don’t think so, but we’re hoping our guys are spending plenty of time in their end zone,” Whitworth said. “That’s what we hope.”

The first half of the season provides the best chance for Cincinnati to show it’s not the worst. The Bengals’ first four opponents _ Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco and Buffalo _ were a combined 19-45 last season. Only one of the first eight opponents had a winning record last season _ Indianapolis, which has problems after losing quarterback Peyton Manning.

The chance is there. “We’ve got a lot to prove, there’s no doubt about it,” Whitworth said. “So I think guys are more worried about what we have to prove than what people think about them.”