Thursday, November 29, 2001

Bengals notebook

Tight end McMullen re-signed

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Bengals re-signed tight end Kirk McMullen to their practice squad Wednesday.

        A first-year player from Pittsburgh, he was on the practice squad for Games1-8, signed to the 53-man roster Nov.17 and played in Games 9 and 10.

        He had no statistics.


        Tampa Bay, which plays Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, is 0-20 in games when the kickoff temperature is below 40 degrees.

        The Buccaneers are 6-14 when the temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees. They are 6-34 when the temperature is below 50.

        The temperature at kickoff Sunday is expected to be in the mid-40s.

        The Buccaneers last played in Cincinnati on Dec.27, 1998, when the temperature was 40 degrees. They won 35-0.

        Overall, the Bengals are 3-3 against the Bucs.


        Cornerback Artrell Hawkins (ankle) and guard Matt O'Dwyer (knee) are doubtful. Defensive end Vaughn Booker (ankle) and wide receiver Peter Warrick (shoulder) are probable.

        YEAST RISES:

        Former Bengals wide receiver Craig Yeast is second in the AFC in kickoff returns for the Jets with an average of 27.9 yards on 13 attempts. Yeast was cut in training camp. The Bengals' Curtis Keaton has a 21.8 average on 36 returns.


        Coach Dick LeBeau responded Wednesday — the same day he promoted Akili Smith to backup quarterback — to Smith's comment that putting him in for the final 1:13 at Cleveland was disrespectful.

        “I'm certainly not going to judge an emotional — what I think is an emotional — reaction,” LeBeau said. “I don't want to make a bigger problem of something that, to me, is not a problem. Do I wish he hadn't said it? Yes, I do. Am I going to let it upset us or dissuade us from anything we're doing? I am not.”


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