Sunday, April 22, 2001

3. Sean Brewer, TE, San Jose St.


Who, me? Didn't expect to be picked so early

By Tom Groeschen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Brewer
        Sean Brewer was a bit stunned, too. Apparently, few outside the Bengals' war room thought the San Jose State tight end would be Cincinnati's third-round draft choice. Or anybody's.

        “I'm kind of surprised at how soon I went in the third round,” Brewer said, in a teleconference Saturday night.

        Third round? That Brewer was chosen at all surprised former Mariemont pharmacist Jerry Jones, who publishes The Drugstore List of prospects. Jones tabbed Brewer a likely free agent and rated him the 15th best tight end. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper was kinder, listing Brewer seventh among tight ends, but projecting him as a backup, not made of starting timber.

        The Bengals disagreed, making Brewer the third tight end taken Saturday.

        “He was a consensus top-three tight end,” said Frank Verducci, the Bengals' tight ends coach.

        “He was the fastest tight end in the draft,” Bengal head coach Dick LeBeau said. “We felt we could not go by the fastest tight end in the draft.”

        Brewer, 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds, runs 4.73 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

        LeBeau, eager to improve a passing game that ranked last in the NFL in 2000, said Brewer can stretch the field along with No.2 pick Chad Johnson, a wide receiver.

        “He will challenge to start,” LeBeau said of Brewer. “This is a new era for the Cincinnati Bengals. ... We want some competition.”

        Tony McGee, who turned 30 years old Saturday, has been the Bengals' starting tight end since his rookie year of 1993. McGee has not caught more than 26 passes in a season since 1997, and his 2000 season ended with a left ankle fracture Dec.10.

        The other Bengal tight ends are veterans Marco Battaglia and Steve Bush.

        Brewer is regarded as an aggressive blocker and reportedly has the speed to get open quickly. But a pre-draft report by NFLmedia.com also said Brewer is “a poorly conditioned athlete” who has bad eating and training habits.

        After Brewer's selection, the Bengals' media relations staff had difficulty finding background information on him. So they distributed a biography written by Dave-Te' Thomas, who writes scouting reports for the official NFL Web site.

        Thomas also said Brewer “has a tough-guy attitude that has gotten him into confrontations with the coaching staff in the past.”

        Thomas went on to write that Brewer is a “spoiled kid with a "gangsta mentality' who has to give up his pack-a-day cigarette habit. ... Does not seem to have the crisp cutting ability when running pass patterns.”

        On the positive side, Thomas says Brewer is an “aggressive blocker” and is “effective turning upfield after the catch. Has a good understanding for the game and is quick to digest complicated plays.”

        Brewer was a three-year starter at San Jose State and had 56 receptions for 580 yards and five touchdowns.

        The Bengals prefer to stress the positives, including versatility and a tough-guy, aggressive style.

        Brewer occasionally played both ways at San Jose State, seeing time at defensive end as a sophomore.

        Brewer was his team's MVP in 2000, catching a career-high 29 passes for 372 yards (12.8 average) and four touchdowns. The Riverside, Calif., native began his career at Riverside College before transferring to San Jose State in 1998.

        His coach at San Jose was Dave Baldwin, who is the new offensive coordinator for Rick Minter's University of Cincinnati program.

        Brewer said he knows little about the Bengals. “I know it's in Ohio ... I'm a California boy.” He said he is thrilled for the chance to play.

        “Just to play in the NFL and be one of the best football players in the world ... I'm just ecstatic right now.”

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Bengals Stories
LeBeau wanted tough guys in draft
Mitchell makes 4 to compete at QB
Smith vows he won't be holdout
No. 3 pick disputes troubles
Smith passed Krumrie test
1. Justin Smith, DE, Missouri
2. Chad Johnson, WR, Oregon St.
- 3. Sean Brewer, TE, San Jose St.
4. Rudi Johnson, RB, Auburn
5. Victor Leyva, G, Arizona State
6. Riall Johnson, OL, Stanford
7. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Oregon State
Johnson & Johnson & Johnson
Team selections

UC's Monds drafted by Redskins
Hughes grad drafted by Seahawks
Sulfsted first Mariemont grad drafted
Dawn makes Ky. All-Stars
Cyclones lose Game 2 in 2 OTs
Mets 5, Reds 1
Brower takes Harnisch's start
Deion tearing up AAA
Reds box, runs
Prosser tours Wake Forest
XU golfers win A-10, NCAA berth
XU's Balcomb wins coaching honor


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