Thursday, November 11, 1999

Brown won't give up GM power


The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Bengals President Mike Brown sounds more and more like he won't give up his role as general manager in which he has the final say in personnel matters. At least if you go by his reaction to Jerry Jones' column on the editorial page of The Enquirer Wednesday.

        Jones, the former Cincinnati druggist who publishes a review of the top college prospects called The Drugstore List, called for Brown to make a variety of changes in the organization. One of them was giving the head coach total control over personnel.

        “It's very infrequent here when the head coach's opinion isn't put into effect,” Brown said. “Usually the coach's opinion overrides management. It's only happened once this year and that's when we released (cornerback) Corey Sawyer.

        “I can count on my fingers the number of times I've insisted on somebody and I've never regretted it,” Brown said. “There are times I wish I'd have done it, but didn't.”

        Brown points to winning organizations where the coach doesn't have the final call: Dal las, Green Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis and New England. “All I'm saying is it can work both ways.”

        TUMULTY RETURNS: Inside linebacker Tom Tumulty hit somebody for the first time in 409 days Wednesday when he practiced for the first time since ripping up his knee last year in Baltimore. The popular four-year veteran loved experiencing the little things again. He even noticed the smell of his helmet.

        “It was great to hear (coach Mark) Duffner say, "Keep shuffling your feet,' and it was good to take a signal from (defensive coordinator Dick) LeBeau, it was good to hear after a blitz one of the offensive lineman say, "Good work.' That's the stuff you take for granted.”

        But Tumulty never took his rehab for granted. He did shuffling and backpedaling drills around the pool table and couch in his basement.

        Wednesday, he took about 35-to-40 snaps and every play in special teams.

        “It feels good now, we'll see how it feels tonight,” he said.

        The Bengals have three weeks to decide if they'll activate Tumulty, waive him or put him on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

        POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: That was the theme of the day Wednesday. Coach Bruce Coslet hung up a No.70 jersey on a locker room wall to signify that the Bengals should be thinking about a 7-0 finish that would make them 8-8.

        Asked if he's spoken with Brown about what is expected for the stretch run, Coslet said, “No, I know what I expect and if you ask him it's probably the same thing. Win every game.”

        Quarterback Jeff Blake said that's the type of positive reinforcement they just don't seem to get every day from people other than coaches.

        “After a bad game, nobody says anything,” Blake said. “After a good game, they pat you on the back. We should get that regardless after good or bad. It's a level we haven't reached yet.”

        THIS AND THAT: Cornerback Artrell Hawkins (shoulder, ankle) practiced Wednesday, but later told trainer Paul Sparling he was sore. .. Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham will work the Nov. 21 Cleveland game for Fox.


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