Tuesday, October 26, 1999

DeMarco to have surgery


BENGALS NOTEBOOK

BY GEOFF HOBSON
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Bengals fear they will lose right guard Brian DeMarco for a couple of games after he undergoes arthroscopic elbow surgery Wednesday.

        DeMarco said he has calcium deposits, and after taking a jolt in Sunday's game he could bend his left only arm halfway.

        Jay Leeuwenburg, the veteran the Bengals picked up after the Colts cut him in training camp, will start in DeMarco's place this Sunday against Jacksonville. That's a blow for DeMarco, a former Jaguar who didn't always see eye-to-eye with coach Tom Coughlin.

        “I want to play these guys more than you'll ever know,” DeMarco said. “I'll say hello (to Coughlin). I'll ask him how he's doing.”

        ANDERSON QUESTIONABLE: Right tackle Willie Anderson had a limp Monday, but no crutches, after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Sunday.

        Trainer Paul Sparling called him 50-50. Anderson said he had a similar injury his final year at Auburn and played.

        “Against Florida I couldn't even walk Thursday,” said Anderson, who has started 49 consecutive games. “Friday it healed up better, and I played Saturday. It's hurting like heck, but I think I'll heal up. I have to keep that streak going. With luck, I'd like it to get into the 100s.”

        If Anderson can't go, Jamain Stephens will get his first Bengal start against a Jacksonville defensive line that is ranked second in the NFL with 22 sacks.

        “The problem is, who are the backups?” said coach Bruce Coslet, who isn't sure what will happen if Stephens gets hurt because DeMarco is the only other tackle.

        LEAGUE BUZZ: Running back Corey Dillon echoed the buzz around the NFL Sunday when he said the Bengals have become so predictable on offense that other teams call the plays before Cincinnati runs them. But Coslet disagreed.

        “We change our formations,” Coslet said. “They might be getting tipped on players' stances, depth of the back alignment or the foot work of the quarterback. But I don't think that's the case. A lot of times you almost want them to know what's coming, so you can cut back or do different things off the same formation. It's a guessing game.”

        THIS AND THAT: Linebacker James Francis has a workout today with the Red skins as he bids to join fellow former Bengals Sam Shade and Dan Wilkinson. ... Agent Bob Fraley, killed along with his client Payne Stewart in Monday's plane crash, negotiated Coslet's TV and radio deals when he was the head coach of the Jets from 1990-93.

       



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