Two ex-AFC North coaches to visit troops

Two former AFC North coaches are visiting U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf this week as part of a USO tour. Bill Cowher and Eric Mangini are among the coaches who will celebrate the Fourth of July with the military.

As the Browns head coach, Mangini invited a contingent of Green Berets from Fort Bragg to attend the Browns minicamps and participate in a team-building event.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, and incredibly flattering, to have the chance to spend time with our troops," said Mangini, who is now an ESPN analyst. "We did a lot of different things both in New York and Cleveland with the military because of the example they set in terms of selflessness, discipline and teamwork. We can’t thank the troops and their families enough for the sacrifices they make to ensure our freedom.”

This is Cowher’s second trip on an NFL-USO Coaches Tour. He participated in the inaugural Coaches Tour in 2009.

"I am really excited to spend time with the men and women who protect our freedom each and every day,” Cowher said. “Anything I can do to brighten their day and show my appreciation is a huge honor for me.”

Past participants of the tour have included Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.