Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Bengals Notebook

Quarterbacks are quick study

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, who was hired after coaching the Steelers' wide receivers for two seasons, was complimentary of the Bengals' three quarterbacks — Jon Kitna, Scott Mitchell and Akili Smith — in the new offense during minicamp.

        Bratkowski said Mitchell looked especially good because what Mitchell does best, making quick reads at the line and decisions in the pocket, fits into the offense well.

The multiple-wide receiver set is similar to what Bratkowski used for four seasons as the Seattle Seahawks' offensive coordinator under Dennis Erickson.

        UNHAPPY ENDING: The Bengals waived cornerback Sirr Parker, whose story of growing up in tough LA was made into a TV movie.

        Parker, a former Texas A&M star, spent most of the 2000 season on the Bengals' practice squad and played in the final two games.

        MINI-REVIEW: Dick LeBeau, overseeing his first minicamp as a head coach, was happy with the three days.

        “It was absolutely the best minicamp I've ever been the head coach at,” he said. “I was pleased. It was a good learning environment.”

        LeBeau also liked what he saw from the team's seven draft picks.

        “There's none of them that I thought, "Gee, I wish we wouldn't have taken that guy.'”

        USA, USA: After 17 players from Conference USA were drafted, including defensive lineman Mario Monds of UC, another 33 C-USA players were signed as undrafted free agents by NFL teams.

        Six former Bearcats are among the signees: Antonio Chatman, wide receiver, 49ers; Troy Evans, linebacker, Rams; Lloyd Garden, fullback, Seahawks; Eddie Johnson, linebacker, Cowboys; Jason Mammarelli, kicker, Bengals; and Doug Rosfeld, center, Browns.


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