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Old 09-22-2006, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals
Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CINCINNATI -- It's funny, the Cincinnati Bengals still plan on showing up at Heinz Field tomorrow to play the Steelers, even though they are beaten up almost beyond recognition.

Veteran center Rich Braham won't play, meaning second-year pro Eric Ghiaciuc will make his second NFL start and have to deal with the Steelers' Casey Hampton. Good luck with that. Safety Dexter Jackson and linebackers David Pollack and Odell Thurman also won't play. Nor will kickoff return specialist Tab Perry, who had a 94-yard return against the Steelers last season. And wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who had 16 catches for 188 yards and three touchdowns in the three games against the Steelers a year ago and had the nerve to wipe his feet with a Terrible Towel, is questionable because of a heel injury and is not expected to start even if he can play.

No problem, the Bengals said.

They like their chances because of who is healthy.

Carson Palmer.

"There's no doubt in my mind we would have won the playoff game last year if he hadn't gone down," defensive tackle John Thornton said.

It's good to get that out of the way right at the top, isn't it?

You knew someone here was going to say it, didn't you?

You know that's how all of Cincinnati feels.

It has been 81/2 months since a low hit by Steelers defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen blew up Palmer's left knee on the Bengals' second offensive play of their 31-17 loss in the AFC playoffs.

Since then, Palmer has endured grueling rehabilitation, watched the Steelers go on to win the Super Bowl and expressed his hatred for all things Pittsburgh in a Sports Illustrated cover story in May.

It's nothing personal, Palmer insisted.

It's just that the Steelers have what he and the Bengals think rightfully belongs to them.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy.

"I don't hold any grudges," Palmer said this week.

"I've said it time and time again. Bad things happen some games. Good things happen some games. It's all part of the game."

Hey, that's the Bengals' story and they're sticking to it.

Thornton -- just as he did after the game -- mumbled something again about how von Oelhoffen didn't have to wrap his arms around Palmer's legs. But, for the most part, the Bengals appear to have blamed the football gods for Palmer's injury and their cruel fate of having to watch the Steelers win Super Bowl XL.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis even came close to apologizing for bringing Ben Roethlisberger into the controversy. "We're not going to sit and cry like their quarterback did," he said after the game, a reference to some mild complaining Big Ben had done after a low hit by Thurman in an earlier game between the teams last season.

"I shouldn't have said it. I was wrong for saying it," Lewis said this week.

"I don't know of one NFL player who has intentionally tried to hurt another player. I certainly know Kimo von Oelhoffen wouldn't try to hurt anyone."

All of that doesn't mean Lewis and the Bengals haven't been pointing toward the game since the NFL schedule came out in April. Palmer immediately made a mental note of it and the Dec. 31 rematch against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium and used thoughts about those games as motivation to get through his punishing workouts.

"Not that any game means more than any other, but this one might," he said.

Palmer's recovery and comeback have been remarkable. He completed 13 of 19 passes for 127 yards in the Bengals' win at Kansas City in the opener. He was better last week in a win against the Cleveland Browns, throwing for 352 yards and two touchdowns.

"What Carson has done is amazing," Roethlisberger said. "He may hate us, but I don't hate him. He's a great quarterback."

The Steelers had mixed results against Palmer last season. They snapped his string of nine consecutive games with at least a 100 passer rating and intercepted two of his passes in a 27-13 win at Paul Brown Stadium in October.

They weren't nearly as good against him in the game at Heinz Field in December, giving up three touchdown passes in a 38-31 loss

We'll never know what would have happened in the playoff game if Palmer hadn't been hit by von Oelhoffen an instant after he threw a 66-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Henry.

"I know," Thornton insisted.

Now that's his story and he's definitely sticking to it.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06266/724320-87.stm
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

Sounds like most of players have cooled off abit.......not that they aren't going to gunning full force tomorrow (as they should). I just wish some of their fans would follow their lead.
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

I believe the Bengals know:

1) The Steelers are not going to be returning the Lombardi Trophy regardless of whether or not Palmer's injury was the reason the Bengals lost to the Steelers

2) The logic of the Bengals being the Super Bowl champs if they would have beaten the Steelers ignores the fact that a healthy Bengals team lost to the Colts at home in the regular season because their defense could not stop the Colts - hard to see how the Bengals would have stopped Manning in Indy

3) Unlike the Steelers with Bettis, 2005 was not the last chance for this collection of Bengals to make a SB run - Lewis is a good enough coach to convince this team it needs to focus on what is ahead rather than obsess about what cannot be changed

This is a great rivalry - cannot wait until kickoff tomorrow
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

i think casey will eat up their backup center tomorrow. i have a feeling that palmer will be sacked a few times.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

They're playing mental games to get the Steelers' intensity levels lower...better not happen.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

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They're playing mental games to get the Steelers' intensity levels lower...better not happen.
It won't!
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
I believe the Bengals know:

1) The Steelers are not going to be returning the Lombardi Trophy regardless of whether or not Palmer's injury was the reason the Bengals lost to the Steelers

2) The logic of the Bengals being the Super Bowl champs if they would have beaten the Steelers ignores the fact that a healthy Bengals team lost to the Colts at home in the regular season because their defense could not stop the Colts - hard to see how the Bengals would have stopped Manning in Indy

3) Unlike the Steelers with Bettis, 2005 was not the last chance for this collection of Bengals to make a SB run - Lewis is a good enough coach to convince this team it needs to focus on what is ahead rather than obsess about what cannot be changed

This is a great rivalry - cannot wait until kickoff tomorrow
Very accurate analysis, although we took the Colts to the wire last year, so if that Cincy/Indy game had happened, I believe we would have stood a good chance. We'll find out later this year when we go there on Monday night.
But back to your point, whatever has happened has happened and can't be changed. Dwelling on what could have been will not change the present or the future. No matter who is hurt or not in the lineup for whatever reason, you still have to line up and find a way to get it done.
The Bengals have a grim determination about them this year to defy the odds and prove all of the doubters wrong. They had to learn a very hard lesson in order to start to develop that mentality, but they seem to have recievd the message loud and clear.
You can't make excuses for what has happened, you just have to line up again and get it done on the next play.
It should be a great game tomorrow. I can't wait.
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

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Originally Posted by klick81 View Post
They're playing mental games to get the Steelers' intensity levels lower...better not happen.
If anything it will raise their intensity! Just wait til they come out of that tunnel into that sea of gold Terrible Towels! Intensity...say no more.
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

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Very accurate analysis, although we took the Colts to the wire last year, so if that Cincy/Indy game had happened, I believe we would have stood a good chance. We'll find out later this year when we go there on Monday night.
But back to your point, whatever has happened has happened and can't be changed. Dwelling on what could have been will not change the present or the future. No matter who is hurt or not in the lineup for whatever reason, you still have to line up and find a way to get it done.
The Bengals have a grim determination about them this year to defy the odds and prove all of the doubters wrong. They had to learn a very hard lesson in order to start to develop that mentality, but they seem to have recievd the message loud and clear.
You can't make excuses for what has happened, you just have to line up again and get it done on the next play.
It should be a great game tomorrow. I can't wait.

ummm yeah.. nicely said... but in reality it isnt the truth... the Bengals fans are still bitching and the players still think something was stolen from them when we just outplayed them. a TEAM cannot count injury's as a what if... What the Bengals fans and players say is like Steelers fan constantly bitching and saying.. IF BEN wasnt hurt during the season last year and played in those games we lost, WE WOULD HAVE WON THE DIVISION with better than an 11-5 record. A few of those games in which a certain QB who is no longer with us played about as bad as you can in those loses... so is no different than what happened to Palmer and the Bengals fans and players need to ****ing get over it already, shut it, and quit crying about injury's.
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cook: There's some forgiving, forgetting from Bengals

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ummm yeah.. nicely said... but in reality it isnt the truth... the Bengals fans are still bitching and the players still think something was stolen from them when we just outplayed them. a TEAM cannot count injury's as a what if... What the Bengals fans and players say is like Steelers fan constantly bitching and saying.. IF BEN wasnt hurt during the season last year and played in those games we lost, WE WOULD HAVE WON THE DIVISION with better than an 11-5 record. A few of those games in which a certain QB who is no longer with us played about as bad as you can in those loses... so is no different than what happened to Palmer and the Bengals fans and players need to ****ing get over it already, shut it, and quit crying about injury's.
I don't see anyone here crying about anything.
The only thing that the team might be dwelling on is the fact that they loss. Using a loss as motivation for the next game isn't bitching and whining, it's common practice.
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