Quick hits: Cook, Skuta say they're OK

Posted Aug 15, 2010

Carson Palmer was an efficient 12-of-15 passing for 105 yards. (AP photo

Quick hits from Sunday night’s 33-17 win over Denver in Paul Brown Stadium’s preseason opener:

» Center Kyle Cook, who left before the No. 1 offense scored its first touchdown of the season, says his ankle sprain is minor and “I’ll be back in a few days.”

» Linebacker Dan Skuta said he got about eight to nine snaps at fullback in the second half and was upset when he sprained his ankle on what he called his best block of the night. He thinks he’s OK and his return was probable after the play. He said he originally twisted it in practice Tuesday: “I was really mad because they were going to put me in on defense and I wanted to do both.”

» Kickers Dave Rayner and Mike Nugent were supposed to alternate kicks, but Rayner indicated he thought Nugent had some more physical issues when he didn’t return after he had two extra points. Nugent had been sidelined for about two weeks with a groin problem before returning last week, but Lewis did call him out for a 50-yard attempt in the second quarter. Lewis called him back and went for it on fourth-and-2 “because that’s what I would have done during the season,” he said.

» Rookie wide receiver Jordan Shipley and his best friend, wide receiver Quan Cosby, have now traded big punt returns. Cosby had a 43-yarder Sunday a week after Shipley had a 63-yarder against the Cowboys.

» Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer went to his newest target six more times out of his 15 passes and wide receiver Terrell Owens caught four of them for 23 yards.

He said the fan reaction to his first home game “was good, it was good. We really want to give the fans something to really come to the stadium for on Sundays. I think me and Chad, we’re ready to get loose, but we know what’s more important and what’s at stake and that’s the end result.”

» Owens was pretty hard on himself, but he also senses he’s getting closer. He was the guy Palmer went to on fourth-and-two over the middle and his plan was to rub off Shipley. But a linebacker rocked the rookie and Owens had to adjust, which left him a yard short.

“We’re tinkering with a lot of formations,” Owens said. “I just kind of got off-balance. I’ve got to get that first down some kind of way.”

It looked like he had one on the first Bengals drive on third-and-11 from the Denver 26 a few yards beyond the first-down marker on the sideline, but he couldn’t get his hands on it.

“I’ve been trying to work on my angles as far as coming out of my break and coming down at the angle they want me to,” Owens said. “I think it was just one of those things once we get comfortable with one another we’ll get it. (Palmer) told me he had hung on to Chad a little bit longer than he should have and came back to me late. I had already come down and the ball was behind me a little bit, but I still need to make that play.”

» The Ocho caught one ball, his first of the season, a four-yarder that converted a first down working against the elite Champ Bailey at cornerback. Bailey pulled down Owens on that fourth-and-two, but on that third-and-four The Ocho backed him and made him slip.

“Feet are just too damn fast,” The Ocho said, but he’s not looking to get more balls in the final three preseason games.

“It doesn’t mean (anything),” he said. “Just save my stuff.”

» Owens’ new locker is next to The Ocho’s in the Bengals redecorated locker room with striped carpeting and plasma TV screens blinking reminders and team schedules. But one of the most recognizable names in sports had no name plate. Yet. “Don’t worry,” he said, “it will be there.”


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