Sunday, May 4, 2003

Kitna comes out with early praise for Warrick


Bengals notebook: Former players attend practice, alumni dinner

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Quarterback Jon Kitna, without prompting, told media covering the Bengals to keep their eyes on wide receiver Peter Warrick this season.

"He looks really good out there," Kitna said. "The new strength coaches are doing a great thing for him. He's running well. He's got a great feel for the game now, his third year in the system."

Said Warrick, "I hope he's right."

Warrick, who is catching every pass within reach this weekend, wants to lose about eight pounds to get down to 190. "It will make me quicker," said Warrick, who has 174 receptions and 14 total touchdowns in three NFL seasons.

The fourth overall pick in the 2000 draft, Warrick has been dogged by high expectations since joining the Bengals.

"Where I went in the draft, when you don't do well, they're like, 'Where is this guy?' " Warrick said Saturday. "They don't know the situation I'm in, how I'm being used. Really, what they're doing is they're on the outside looking in. A lot of people don't know anything about football, they just watch it."

FREE AGENT WATCH: The Bengals reportedly are interested in acquiring free agent defensive end Peppi Zellner, who played the past four seasons for the Cowboys.

He could be visiting the Bengals as soon as Monday.

ACHES AND PAINS: Rookie wide receiver Kelley Washington missed some practice time Friday and Saturday because of a twisted right ankle.

Tight end Sean Brewer was hobbled by a morning ankle injury Saturday but did practice in the afternoon.

VISITORS: Some 50 former Bengals players were at practice Saturday in advance of an alumni dinner in the stadium press box at 6 p.m.

Current Bengals players were required to attend the dinner to meet and talk with players who were part of winning Bengals teams.

The dinner is another innovation of coach Marvin Lewis.

VISITORS II: Two crews from NFL Films were at Paul Brown Stadium conducting interviews and gathering practice film for two projects.

A crew is following quarterback Carson Palmer for use in an ESPN presentation called "Hey, Rookie" that will air during training camp. The second film is a look at professional football in Ohio that will be a part of the NFL Films Presents series and should air early in the regular season.

BENGAL FAN: The Bengals signed free agent rookie Tommy Jones, a former Indiana University quarterback who played at Eaton High School west of Dayton.

"You can't beat it," said Jones, 23, who threw nine touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Hoosiers last season. "I always came here with my dad and a lot of friends, so it's fun now to be putting on the stripes."

Jones takes the roster spot of undrafted rookie Ryan McCann, the former Tennessee-Chattanooga quarterback who was released after just one day of practice.

TURF DOCTOR: A new head groundskeeper has been hired for Paul Brown Stadium. Darian Daily, 34, comes to Cincinnati from Columbus, where he was groundskeeper at Crew Stadium for the Major League Soccer franchise.

He replaces Doug Bradley.

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E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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