Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Bengals e-mail Q&A



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Mark Curnutte
There are many players and not as many positions in the Bengals' defensive secondary.

Question, from Brian in Franklin: What are the chances of Madieu Williams starting the season over Rogers Beckett or Kim Herring? Do you see Kevin Kaesviharn being around much longer with the influx of youth and talent in the secondary?

Answer: Chances are, with the money paid Beckett and Herring in free agency, that they will be the starters when the season opens.

Williams, the team's second second-round pick, should challenge quickly for the nickel role on passing downs and is expected to be a staple on special teams.

Kaesviharn's not going anywhere soon. He signed a three-year, $2.15 million contract as a restricted free agent. He received a $500,000 signing bonus and has a 2004 salary cap number of $621,667.

The odd man out at safety appears to be third-year pro Marquand Manuel.

Q, from Greg in Cincinnti: Should I buy a Rudi Johnson or Chris Perry jersey? I won't to know who will stay on the team longer.

A: Not sure what your budget is, but both Johnson and Perry figure to stick around for a while. Look for the Bengals to try to sign Johnson to a long-term deal, though agent Peter Schaffer has said Johnson is likely to become the youngest running back to hit the unrestricted market next March.

A good start from Johnson would definitely increase his value. A slow start by Johnson and more playing time for Perry would obviously hurt Johnson's value.

Q, from Doug in California: Is Kelley Washington sneaking up into the second receiver spot? Also when are we going to see Larry Moore or Rich Braham at center next year?

A: Coach Marvin Lewis has said that Washington is making a push on Peter Warrick for playing time. The Bengals are exceptionally deep at wide receiver.

Lewis is enjoying the competition so far in the spring on-field sessions, and training camp should be an exciting time.

Washington has come back to Cincinnati in outstanding physical condition and is determined to be on the field more in 2004.

Braham is likely to start at center, and his knowledge of the offense and ability to assign blocks at the line of scrimmage will be an invaluable asset for Palmer. Moore adds important depth at center and guard.

Word around the Bengals is Victor Leyva should push free agent acquisition Bobbie Williams for playing time at right guard. Moore is a top-shelf pro who will be ready when called upon and won't balk at last-minute changes in assignment.

Q, from William in Fort Myers, Fla. (formerly of Mt. Adams): Two questions, actually.

What year did the Bengals beat the Chargers where the temperature got down to approximately minus-38 degrees? And what was the final score of the Bengals-Cowboys game in December 1985?

A: The Bengals defeated the Chargers in the AFC Championship game 27-7 on Jan. 10, 1982. The wind-child factor was minus-59 degrees.

Then on Dec. 8, 1985, the Bengals defeated the Cowboys 50-24 at Riverfront Stadium.

E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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