Posted: 5:30 a.m.
Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is looking for Scott Simpson, the Chairman of the (Video) Board at Paul Brown Stadium.
If he becomes the 33rd player in history to catch the 10,000th yard of his career Sunday against the Chiefs, The Ocho thinks it would be nice if the officials stopped the game and gave him the ball with some Mexican music playing.
But then again, he's more concerned about beating Kansas City and clinching the AFC North. Part of him says that getting 79 yards in a season he's averaging 72 per game should just happen.
"He'll get it," said quarterback Carson Palmer before Wednesday's practice. "That's a great accomplishment."
Another part of The Ocho says that 10,000 is merely a number on the way to something else.
"How many does Jerry Rice have?" he asked of the man that leads everyone with 22,895. "When I get there, let me know."
But 10,000 is nothing to ignore, particularly since it marks a generational divide. Not only does Ochocinco become the first Bengal to do it, but he'll become the first player who started his career in this decade to reach the milestone. A total of 15 players that are there began playing in the 1990s, 10 in the '80s, three each in the '70s and '60s, and Don Maynard in the '50s.
The next active pursuer is the Colts' Reggie Wayne, who also came into the league in 2001, and is nearly 600 yards behind Ochocinco.
Ochocinco will also be just the fifth player on the all-time list with 10,000 yards that is with the same team: Marvin Harrison (Colts), Steve Largent (Seahawks), Michael Irvin (Cowboys) and Hines Ward (Steelers).
Sunday could be quite a day at PBS. A video tribute to Chris Henry could honored by a second AFC North title and the march to 10,000.
"Yeah, I guess it's cool," said The Ocho about 10 grand, but he still sounded more concerned that his offense function more smoothly than it did last week and that he honor Henry in the right way.
"We should have solidified a playoff spot by now. We'll win the division Sunday as long as we handle our business," Ochocinco said. "One of the things that makes that possible is limit the turnovers and penalties. Unless we do that as an offense, we're unstoppable. We stopped ourselves last Sunday. Not to go back to that game. That's the only thing that did it."
In the last four games the Bengals have committed 39 penalties and there is no question that the series in the third quarter last Sunday in San Diego in which they didn't get a snap off with three pre-snap penalties has been talked about. False start. Too many men in the huddle. Delay of game.
"It was embarrassing," Palmer called it Wednesday.
"Pop Warner," said The Ocho, who also supplied an adjective for the youth football league. "We're not going to play perfect football, but the things that happened last week ... 12 men in the huddle followed by, you know that scenario ... it was addressed. You can't do that and win. We're making this hard on ourselves."
The Ocho said the only time he saw such a sequence is when he was playing Madden on the computer.
"I can't imagine it's ever happened to many teams," said Palmer, who also said it's never happened to him quite like that. "To lose focus that many plays in a row, like I said after the game, it was embarrassing. I think we were all embarrassed. We've talked about it as a group. We've talked about it as a team with Marvin (Lewis), but we've also talked about it in our offensive meetings and we're taking practice steps to improve those little things, and they will be improved on."
Palmer suggested the Bengals pre-snap problems come under a big umbrella and don't stem from mechanical mishaps getting the play down from the press box or from the sidelines.
"I just think as a whole it's just a focus thing, just not being 100 percent focused," he said. "Being 85 percent focused, 92 percent focused, not being 100 percent. It's something that we will change."
No. 85 says he will be 100 percent focused with the division on the line. He's coming off a game in which he scored his longest touchdown in two years on a 49-yarder and Palmer got his first 300-yard game since that same day, Dec. 30, 2007, in Miami.
Big numbers for a passing offense that has struggled. When Laveranues Coles caught a TD last week, it was the first non-Ocho TD by a receiver since Andre Caldwell's touchdown against the Ravens back on Nov. 8. But like he said Sunday, Ochocinco isn't surprised the passing game suddenly clicked.
"There's no problem with the passing game. The plays just have to be called for us to make the plays," he said. "Like I've said and will continue to say until it changes, this is a run-first team. That's what we are. When the pass is needed we've got five receivers that can make plays all over the field."
He says the long plays "just have to be called. We're more of a ball-control style offense. We don't throw it down the field like we were used to doing. I don't have a problem with that because it's been working. We've been winning. We've been damn good. Not great. But damn good."
To be great, The Ocho gets back to the penalties and it would also be great "if I could date Jennifer Anniston." At the moment, he has a date with destiny. The next guy on the all-time list with 10,000 is Boomer Esiason's studio rival, Shannon Sharpe, who last played with Denver in 2003 and has 10,060. First Ochocinco has to get by Eric Moulds at 9,995, done playing in '07.
But he really wants the division title.
And a bike for Christmas for his eight-year-old son. It turns out The Ocho also shops via Twitter.
"I use it like Yellow Pages," he said. "I tweet what I'm looking for and I get all kinds of stuff back."
So on Wednesday before practice none other than skateboard great Tony Hawk was on the horn telling Ochocinco he was going to send him a bike.
He only wishes the AFC North and 10,000 were so easy to find.