Saturday, August 24, 2002

Bengals Notebook: Dillon's turn tonight

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Corey Dillon is a prolific runner in the regular season, judging by his 3,950 yards in the past three Pro Bowl years. But he is pretty good in the preseason, too.

        Dillon, who was held out of the first two games because they were played on artificial turf at Buffalo and Indianapolis, will start tonight in the home-opening preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at Paul Brown Stadium.

        “A little warmup,” he said of the start. “I'm feeling good.”

        In the two home preseason games last year, Dillon rushed nine times for 126 yards, a 14-yard average. He had seven carries for 34 yards against the Bill is the third preseason game in 2001, and his two rushes against the Colts in the finale netted 92 yards.

        He had an 87-yard touchdown run on his second carry against the Colts and was done for the night with 14 minutes to go in the first quarter.

        Dillon had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in March, and a routine exam Monday showed he is in excellent condition.

        GAME TIME: A Bengals victory tonight wo uld guarantee their first winning preseason since 1988, the franchise's second and last Super Bowl season. A victory also would move the Bengals to 3-0 in the preseason for the first time since 1976.

        SERIES HISTORY: The Saints lead the Bengals 3-1 in preseason play and have a 5-4 regular-season edge.

        The last preseason meeting was a 27-10 Saints victory in New Orleans in 1989.

        The last regular-season game was a 30-15 Bengals victory Sept.15, 1996 in Cincinnati. They will play again this season Dec.22 at Paul Brown Stadium.

        SAINTS STUFF: New Orleans features the backfield of quarterback Aaron Brooks and running back Deuce McAllister. Brooks, who is under contract, held out of camp for two days before the club agreed to work on renegotiating his contract.

        McAllister will start in place of Ricky Williams, who was traded to the Dolphins.

        The Saints also are pleased with their nine-man draft class. Guard LeCharles Bentley of Ohio State already has earned a starting spot, and four of his classmates are in contention for starting berths: defensive end Charles Grant, linebacker James Allen, cornerback Keyuo Craver and wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

        PAINT JOB: The Paul Brown Stadium field will feature a look similar to last season's.

        The end zones will have orange, yellow and black bengal tiger stripes, and two Bengals helmets will be painted on the 30-yard lines, instead of the traditional helmet on the 50.

        MORE MUNOZ: Information provided by the Anthony Munoz Foundation about a fund-raising event was incorrect.

        The golf-a-thon will be held Sept.22, 2003.


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