Thursday, January 31, 2002

Ex-Steeler safety interviews for assistant's job

Coslet takes over offense in Dallas

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEW ORLEANS — Bengals coach Dick LeBeau interviewed his first candidate Wednesday for the coaching vacancy on his staff.

        Darren Perry, a free safety who played for LeBeau in Pittsburgh, is the first of two or three candidates LeBeau plans to talk to.

        Perry ended his career with the New Orleans Saints in 2000. He would replace Ray Horton, who resigned Jan.7.

        “We had a good interview,” LeBeau said.

        Perry was drafted in the eighth round of the 1992 draft out of Penn State and started when LeBeau was the Steelers' defensive backs coach.


        Former Bengals coach Bruce Coslet was introduced Wednesday as the new offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.

        Coslet, who was 21-39 as Bengals coach and resigned three games into the 2000 season, received a three-year contract. He had been out of football for 16 months.

        Coslet was at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch training complex Tuesday, meeting with team owner Jerry Jones and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson. Coslet also visited coach Dave Campo, who is recovering from hip replacement surgery, at his home.

        On Wednesday, the Cowboys asked for and received permission from the Bengals to talk to Bengals tight ends coach Frank Verducci for the opening on the Dallas staff for an offensive line coach. Verducci coached offensive linemen at Iowa from 1993-98, and 11 of his players were drafted, including Bengals guard Mike Goff.

        Verducci has coached Bengals tight ends for three years.

        “I'll be bringing the West Coast offense, but Bill Walsh calls it the North Bank of the Ohio offense,” Coslet told the Cowboys' Web site. “We've got some young quarterbacks, and it's going to take some time. But were not destitute down here. We've got the Rocket (Raghib Ismail) and Joey Galloway for receivers, Emmitt Smith is the running back, and the offensive line has some good players.”

        Walsh, the Bengals' offensive coordinator when Coslet played tight end in the 1970s, recommended Coslet to the Cowboys, as did Bengals president Mike Brown.

        “I think highly of Bruce,” Brown said. “He's a good coach with a good offensive mind. He'll do well.”

        The Cowboys recently signed former Stanford quarterback Chad Huthchinson, who had been playing professional baseball.

        BIG TRAIN:

        Former Lions defensive back and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane died Tuesday night in Austin, Texas.

        Lane, 73, was a former teammate of LeBeau's.

        “It's a sad day,” LeBeau said. “I'm comforted that we're all going to be in another huddle in heaven, I hope. Dick was a larger-than-life guy. He had a magnetic personality.”

        Lane played for the Lions from 1960-65 with LeBeau. Lane came into the league with the Los Angeles Rams in 1952.
       He had 68 career interceptions. LeBeau had 62.

        “Dick was ahead of his time,” LeBeau said. “If he could step out today, he would be even more effective because they pass more today.”


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