Blocking the next move

11-9-03, 12:45 p.m. **

Another installment of Bengals wide receiver Kelley Washington's weekly diary of a NFL rookie as he continues in his role as the team's third wide receiver. He takes a look back at his two catches for 17 yards in last week's 17-14 loss in Arizona and a look ahead at Sunday's game at Paul Brown Stadium against the Texans and why he relishes playing on third down.**

I had four balls thrown at me and one of the catches came on third down for a first down. In my mind, that's almost as big as scoring a touchdown. You keep a drive going, you keep your defense off the field, the coaches want to get you the ball again. A lot of things happen when you keep the chains moving. And if he can throw it to me on third down, then Jon (Kitna) is going to have confidence throwing to me when I get opportunities on first and second down.

There was one third-down play in the second quarter I didn't get. I had run a curl route and I got a good push off the line. The sun was beaming down on that part of the field, and when I came out of my break, I couldn't really see coming back to the ball. It was a tough route because it was in the sun. Chad (Johnson) had trouble on one play, too.

Yeah, Jon got one me a little bit. I don't say anything at all when a quarterback gets on you. The quarterback has to be the leader. You always want to feel

like the quarterback is right. As a receiver, I always want him to feel like he's right so he can have the confidence and I have the confidence and all the receivers have the confidence. You never want to say you did something right. You always want to listen to your quarterback, so you can correct it, come back, catch a couple of balls, and continue to get better in practice.

You just suck it up and get them the next series. I'm learning from Jon. We run routes every day to prepare ourselves for Sunday. We're getting more comfortable. He's throwing to me on third down and that shows he's got confidence in me.

To me, deep down, it wasn't a play where I say I dropped the ball. The sun was in my eyes. I couldn't really come back. I didn't see the ball until the last minute, and he made a good play on the ball. But that's just one play. I've made several third-down catches (six) and I'm going to get better. There look to be several plays this week they're trying to get me the ball on third down, so that's a good sign.

I like the pressure of playing on third down. That's where all the excitement is. Being the third wide receiver and playing outside, I don't have to worry too much about blitz reactions. I know when I'm on the field on first and second down, I'll get more chances for the longer plays, the fade routes, but I'll take what I can get now.

We're playing an excellent corner this week in Aaron Glenn. I seem to block really well against very good corners. I get excited playing guys like that because it gives me a chance to get after them.

I've got some key blocking assignments this week and I think they've got some things designed for me there, too, in the running game.

I think they like what I'm doing blocking so far. I'm a big, physical receiver, and a lot of times, with the other receivers running the whole game, so I'm kind of fresh because I'm only playing on certain downs, and I really go after them blocking. In a lot of formations, they've kind switched Chad and I around so I can make some key blocks. I just have to show them I can do it and go on from there.

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