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Zbikowski getting more comfortable at punt returns

Six days after appearing slightly indecisive on punt returns, Tom Zbikowski was much more comfortable Sunday.

Although the Ravens lost 15-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals, Zbikowski managed a 6.2-yard average on five punts, which was significantly better than the 1.3-yard average he finished with in the season opener against the New York Jets.

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"I was just smarter with my decisions, and I think I had to get the rust off from last week," Zbikowski said. "Now I'm just catching it and trying to fall forward and trying to help out the offense."

Coach John Harbaugh's only criticism involved a return late in the second quarter when Zbikowski hauled in a punt over his right shoulder like a center fielder chasing a fly ball and then running horizontally toward the right sideline. Zbikowski was dropped for a 4-yard loss at the Ravens' 28.

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"I thought Zbikowski looked better on all but one," Harbaugh said. "The one that was kicked over in the left corner, he tried to bring back into the middle. That was a flashback. I didn't like that one at all. If he just goes straight up the field, he's got 15 yards where he's not going to get touched. But the rest of them were good. He took the ball north and south and made some plays."

But Zbikowski also returned a punt in the first quarter for 10 yards and another one in the third for 20.

"I am feeling more comfortable each time," Zbikowski said. "I think the first time out, it was the anticipation of not doing it for a while, and I just wanted to make a play too much. Now I'm back to the way when I had success returning punts, which is getting the 10 yards and if you've got something after that, just keep rolling. I'm just trying to keep going north and south."

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