Sunday, May 4, 2003

Bengals Q&A


New attitude 1st step to improving record

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Ask Mark
The selection of Carson Palmer, an Orange County, Calif., native, apparently has increased interest in the Bengals on the West Coast.

Question, from Kenny in Orange, Calif.: I believe the Bengals are going to be a lot better than everyone expects. Are the Bengals considered a 4-12 team because they're the Bengals? I believe they can be 8-8.

Answer: A .500 record would equal the best franchise record in the past 12 years.

Part of the losing has been a self-fulfilling prophecy. There has been a "here-we-go-again" attitude when games start turning badly.

Marvin Lewis said one of his first roles as coach was to change that attitude. He has brought in several new players who have been in winning NFL programs.

It's difficult to predict if or how many wins Lewis' moves will produce. What's clear is he expects to do well in his first season. His stated early goals are to win more games than he loses and get to the playoffs.

Q, from Robert in Huntington, W. Va.: Good draft, but two points of contention: I have to believe Byron Leftwich will be the superior pro, eventually, to Palmer, and shouldn't the Bengals have taken more than one defensive back in view of failures in that area in the past?

A: The Bengals signed Tory James as a cornerback in free agency; he should be an upgrade. Dennis Weathersby, if he recovers from his gunshot wounds, looks to be a solid pro prospect.

Look for Lewis, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and underrated defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle to get a lot of production from the secondary.

Q, from Dana in High Point, N.C.: With the new image and strides to debunk stereotypes about the franchise, this is a great time to hit the field in new uniforms - or keep the current uniforms and replace the helmet with a black helmet. Is anything like this being considered?

A: For the dozens of readers who ask this question every week, the official word from the Bengals is no. If any changes were planned for this coming season, they would have had to be filed with the NFL by now.

The helmets probably won't change soon; they're emblazoned on every seat in Paul Brown Stadium.

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E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




FLYING PIG MARATHON
Locals win Flying Pig
Complete results

REDS SUNDAY GAME
Giants 6, Reds 1
Reds Box, Runs

REDS SATURDAY GAME
Giants 9, Reds 6
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Harnisch putting in his innings
First win of season gives Graves shot of confidence
Aussie takes American game for a kick and a jog
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A

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Funny Cide up in Derby
Jockey Santos realizes dream with a gelding
Frankel accepts defeat in stride
A win for owners, and their home state
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No fade at finish for humbled Patton

BENGALS
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Newest receiver should fit right in
Bengals Q&A
Kitna comes out with early praise for Warrick

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Price fired as Alabama football coach
Tide president made the right call
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Daugherty: O.J. Mayo
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Cronin's goal is to outfox ex-employers UC, U of L for recruits
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Driver Nadeau critical but improving

HOCKEY
Giguere pulled in loss to Stars
Clones lose finale

GOLF
Verplank maintains 3-shot lead

TENNIS
Venus advances

BOXING
De La Hoya stops Campas

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PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio

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