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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Owens' work habits inspire Bengals

By Marla Published: October 1, 2010

Bengals receiver Terrell Owens may be 36, but his practice habits haven't slipped, according to Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer.

 ''To be 15 years in the league, he doesn't take a practice off, a day off, a rep off,'' Palmer said.  ''He runs routes with the scout team offense and is always looking to catch extra balls after practice. That's something that got him this far and gave him as much success as he's had over the years.''

Owens says it's been good for him to play with Chad Ochocinco, who is 32 but acts much younger.

''I can't keep up with Chad, trust me,'' Owens said. ''This guy needs a leash. This guy is like a 12-, 13-year-old kid. It's a joy to be around him. I don't know where he gets his energy. I don't know what he does before he gets up in the morning. All I know is this guy's all over the field every day. It's a joy to see somebody enjoy what he's doing. I think that's what I need to do more of.''

During his career, some have criticized Owens as a teammate, But Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown had nothing but good words to say about Owens during their days together in Philadelphia in 2004-05.

''He has a great work ethic, he wanted to be the best.  He's very competitive and he made me a better player every day,'' Brown said. ''I was there in training camp (with Owens) for two years, I learned a lot about the game. Taught me a lot.''

Brown said he didn't buy into Owens' reputation as a cancer in the locker room.

''He might not agree with everything that's going on sometimes,'' Brown said. ''He's not a cancer, he's a great teammate. Guys love him in the locker room.''

Browns coach Eric Mangini said Owens showed what he was made of by playing in the Super Bowl after the 2004 season with Philadelphia. Just seven weeks after ankle surgery, Owens caught nine passes for 122 yards.

''The fact that he played in that game shows you how important it is to him, shows you his inherent toughness, his competitiveness,'' Mangini said.  ''You go into that game with not really having a lot of prep time, not really knowing exactly how it’s going to go and he played really well that weekend. 

''He’s played well wherever he’s gone.  He’s got good run after the catch, he’s a physical guy, he’s got excellent hands, he’s smart and he’s with a partner (Ochocinco) that takes coverage off of him, too.''

A third-round pick out of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Owens is the NFL's active leader in career receptions (1,020) and receiving yards (15,103). He ranks second among active players in touchdown catches with 144, seven behind New England's Randy Moss.

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