Saturday, August 11, 2001

Bengals Notebook

Griffin makes most of opportunity

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PONTIAC, Mich. — Damon Griffin is a longshot to make the crowded Bengals receiving corps this season, but he made a big contribution in the game-winning drive.

        Griffin had four receptions for 34 yards and played the final few plays of the drive with an injured hamstring.

        “I paid for it,” he said. “I just kept playing on it. I hope I made a statement. What else can I do? I keep making the plays even though I get the fewest number of reps.

        “If I keep doing what I'm doing and keep making plays and don't make the team, then they've already got what they want from the beginning. This is my third-year. I've got that free-agent take that's going to stay with me forever.”

        NUMBERS: The Bengals had 176 yards rushing, 246 yards passing and held the Lions to nine first downs.

        The Bengals passed for 302 yards but gave up seven sacks for 56 yards in losses.

        INJURY REPORT: Looking ahead to the Aug. 25 preseason home opener, fullback Nick Williams (knee) and tackle Freddie Moore (knee) are out.

        Rookie tight end Sean Brewer (hamstring) is questionable.

        Probable are tackle Willie Anderson (ankle), linebacker Takeo Spikes (ankle), linebacker Steve Foley (ribs), tight end Marco Battaglia (knee) and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh (bruised foot).

        ONE MORE TIME: The Silverdome has not been a kind place for the Bengals.

        In their previous visit to Pontiac, on Aug.20, 1999, safety Kelvin Moore suffered a serious spine injury that ended his career.

        Long snapper Greg Truitt suffered a serious knee injury on the Silverdome artificial turf in the same preseason game.

        The injury that most Bengals fans remember, though, took place on Aug. 17, 1995, when running back Ki-Jana Carter, whom the Bengals had selected with the first overall pick of the draft, tore up his knee. He missed his rookie season and that game set the stage for his five injury-prone years in Cincinnati.

        The Bengals have to visit the Silverdome one more time. They play a regular season game there Oct.28.

        This season is the Lions' last in the Silverdome. They will move to Ford Field in downtown Detroit next year.

        HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Bengals owner Mike Brown enjoyed his 66th birthday Friday with the victory.

        GOALS: The Bengals defense has put its goals for the upcoming season in writing. The Bengals want to recover 15 fumbles and intercept 20 passes, a total of 35 takeaways. The team's other goals are 44 sacks and forcing fourth down on 64 percent of third-down plays.

        These are increases over last season when they had an AFC-low 26 sacks, nine interceptions and 12 recovered fumbles. They forced fourth down on 43 percent of third-down plays.

        COLLEGE TIES: Bengals safety JoJuan Armour was teammates at Miami University with Lions center Eric Beverly and punter Kent McCullough. McCullough participated in minicamp with the Bengals before being released.

        FAMILY TIES: Bengals scout Duke Tobin was re-united this weekend with his father and uncle, both of whom are in their first year with the Lions.

        Tobin's father, Bill Tobin, is Detroit's executive director of player personnel. Bill Tobin's brother and Duke Tobin's uncle, Vince Tobin, is the Lions defensive coordinator.

        UP NEXT: The Bengals are off today and return to their Georgetown College training facility Sunday. But both Sunday's and Monday's practices are closed to the public.

        Camp will reopen to fans at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Skills session will be from 11 a.m.-noon, and practice will be from 3-5 p.m.


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- Griffin makes most of opportunity
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