In 2nd year, Warrick aims to receive attention again

Cincinnati Bengals

September 07, 2001

Remember Peter Warrick?

After becoming one of the most talked-about players heading into the 2000 draft -- and certainly one of the most exciting -- the wide receiver fell off the NFL radar with a rather nondescript season in Cincinnati last year.

The statistics -- 51 catches, 592 yards and four receiving touchdowns -- were not bad but hardly overwhelming.

"Last year was more like coming into Florida State my first year, not knowing what's going to happen or what's going on," said Warrick, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2000 draft. "This year, it's more like `Pete has arrived.' It's better for me this year."

Warrick's popularity skyrocketed while at Florida State, where he was a Heisman Trophy candidate, then plummeted last year on the 4-12 Bengals. He did however, show flashes of the player the Bengals hope he will become.

Warrick scored seven of the team's 21 touchdowns, including two rushing and one on a punt return. While he struggled at times at receiver, much of that had to do with quarterback Akili Smith and the early-season injury to top receiver Darnay Scott.

Scott is expected to be healthy this year, which should allow Warrick to return to the No. 2 spot.

"With Darnay coming back, that will take some of the pressure off me," Warrick said. "People will have to be worried about Darnay's speed and big-play ability. That just will open things up for me."

Bengals vs. Ravens

Key for Ravens: Load up to stop running back Corey Dillon and let new quarterback Jon Kitna try to win the game. Kitna struggled last year with a bad Seattle team, and now he's with the Bengals, who are even worse.

Biggest headache: There wasn't one. The Ravens won the two games last year by a combined 64-7 margin. Dillon rushed for just 32 yards combined.

Stat to watch: The Bengals were last in the league in passing yards (1,946) last year. Expect marginal improvement under Kitna.

Brian Billick's impression: "Dick [LeBeau, coach] is changing the mentality there. Obviously they've got a number of skill people, via the draft position they've had. And they, too, are going to come in with a real refreshed attitude."

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