Sunday, November 10, 2002

Isolation booth: Johnson vs. Demps



By Mark Curnutte
Cincinnati Enquirer

Chad Johnson has emerged in the past month as the Bengals' go-to receiver. He and quarterback Jon Kitna work especially well together.

Johnson is the one Bengals receiver with the speed and quickness to beat press coverage at the line, which forces the opposing free safety to pay attention to him. Johnson also is the Bengals' most dangerous deep threat.

Baltimore's free safety during its Super Bowl run was future Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, who's now with the Oakland Raiders.

The Ravens' free safety now is Will Demps, an undrafted rookie free agent from San Diego State. He and fellow rookie Ed Reed have switched spots, with Reed moving to strong safety.

After missing the first two games with a dislocated elbow, Demps has started the last five games. He has 40 tackles with one interception and five passes broken up. He has an uncanny ability to be around the ball. Baltimore coach Brian Billick raves about the play of Demps, another find by one of the NFL's best scouting departments.

In spite of their relative quick success as a rebuilt team (3-5), these aren't the Ravens of 1999-2001 - especially on defense. They are ranked 18th against the pass at 222.1 yards a game. So the opportunities will be there for Kitna and Johnson. Plus, Baltimore probably will be without its best cornerback, Chris McAlister, who sprained his ankle last week against the Atlanta Falcons.

In the four games since Kitna has returned as the Bengals' starting QB, Johnson has averaged 5.5 receptions and 67.5 yards a game.



BENGALS / NFL
Ravens 38, Bengals 27
Blake empathizes with former mates
Bengals' defense will need to step up once again
The Edge
Isolation booth: Johnson vs. Demps
Levi: Life as a Rookie
Bengals, Ravens stats
Bengals-Ravens by the numbers
NFL notebook, standings
Are you ready for some Monday Night Football history?
Curnutte's NFL power rankings


UC BEARCATS
Sloppy UC still slams NKU
Daugherty: Wrath - not grapes - seems more Huggins' style
Center position still work in progress
UC women win C-USA soccer crown

XAVIER HOOPS
Cole ponders redshirt season
XU women win exhibition

REDS / BASEBALL
Bowden mum regarding free agent wish list
Reds Q & A
Phils set to spend on Thome

OHIO FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Elder, Colerain at Nippert Saturday
Where to buy football tickets
Elder 31, Wayne 3
Colerain 28, Lebanon 7
Ohio scores | Ohio pairings
Fans enjoy atmosphere at Paul Brown Stadium
Kings 36, Edgewood 19
Reading 41, Coldwater 38

KENTUCKY FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Kentucky scores | Kentucky pairings
CovCath 54, Harrison Co. 6
Beechwood 55, Fairview 7
Boone Co. 34, Oldham Co. 28
Dixie Heights 43, Lou. Ballard 41
Eastern 22, Conner 7
Highlands 56, Anderson Co. 0
Holy Cross 35, Nicholas Co. 14
Lex. Catholic 52, Holmes 20
Lloyd 51, East Carter 20
Louisville Trinity 48, Ryle 9
NewCath 57, Paris 14
Russell 31, Newport 14
Scott 53, Bourbon Co. 22

INDIANA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
East Central 38, Whiteland 30


OHIO VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ursuline unseats St. Ursula as Div. I champs
GGCL players rule all-state team

OHIO SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
St. Ursula loses soccer final
Wyoming girls denied soccer title
Madeira boys win state title

KENTUCKY CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
St. Henry boys take cross country title
Highlands girls run to state title

PREP INSIDER COLUMN
Prep Insider: Late coach was ahead of his time


COLLEGE FOOTBALL
With backs to wall, Buckeyes battle to 11-0
Hail Mary heave halts fun for UK
Bowen corners market at Miami
Huskies stun BGSU, take first in division
Mount St. Joseph thumped by undefeated Hanover 49-14
Miami crushes Vols
Texas shows Baylor some attitude
Texas A&M ruins party for Sooners
Irish escape Navy
Syracuse topples No. 8 Virginia Tech in 3OT
Big Ten roundup
Top 25 roundup
How the Top 25 fared
College Football Today

COLLEGE HOOPS
Hoops: Big matchups come early, often
Dayton player's parents don't believe son lied

REGIONAL INTERESTS
MSJ football finally growling
Five questions with Brandon Miree
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

NATIONAL HEADLINES
Dredge leads Volvo Masters
Mighty Ducks blank Barons
Kolzig slams door on Flyers
Second-half scoring surge lifts Pacers over Raptors
Women's soccer: U.S. 2, Canada 1
Serena Williams, Capriati advance to WTA semis
Will Fittipaldi be first of new wave of drivers?
Stewart on cusp of Cup title

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