6-19-01, 6:15 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
Bengals' observers must have felt like bird watchers glimpsing a rare event in ornithology this week when Darnay Scott landed at Paul Brown Stadium.
Scott is the team's most accomplished and experienced wide receiver in whom the Bengals are putting many of their eggs. And Tuesday just may have been the first time he caught balls when there was no official team workout. He prefers working out on his own at home. But when head coach Dick LeBeau spoke on this topic, Scott listened.
Before Scott went home last month, LeBeau asked him to return for a few days in June after the team wasn't pleased he missed all but two voluntary workouts in May. Complicating matters was the murder of a close friend that kept him in St. Louis.
"Coach LeBeau is a cool guy. He's not a screaming guy," Scott said. "He's not going to holler at you and tell you what you need to do. He just lets you know what you have to do like this here, and that's it.
"He didn't tell me what I had to do," Scott said. "He just told me, 'I would like you to try and be back for one or two days this month and I said, 'What days do you want me back?' He gave me two days and I'm back."
LeBeau wanted Scott to spend some blackboard time with receivers coach Steve Mooshagian while Mooshagian Xed and Oed for
newly arrived rookies Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. On Tuesday, Scott also ran enough routes to show Mooshagian the Aug. 1 broken left leg is not going to be an obstacle at training camp.
And while some pockets of the Bengals think Scott is too heavy (he didn't take his shirt off like the other receivers in Tuesday's 90-degree weather), he is adamant before he begins his annual month-long pre-season running camp on Monday.
"I'm not going to let anybody down," Scott said. "(The running camp) is what I do. It's how I get ready."
Scott is set to repeat the June-July program of Olympic coach Bob Kersee and gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee that he used in 1999, when he had his break-out season of 68 catches for 1,022 yards.
"Bob is a hard guy, a real strict track coach," Scott said. "When he works you out, he works you out. You can't even bend over after you run. You have to stand up."
Scott works out with a handful of other NFL players and track athletes for two hours during four days a week at various St. Louis-area high schools. They run a series of dashes ranging from 40 to 200 yards in a regimen that also includes weight training.
"That's why it's so hard is because he's making it so you get faster," Scott said.
In a lot of ways, Scott is an old school guy who has no use for off-season workouts and prefers to get serious only as camp closes in. But the biggest question, as he turns 29 in about two weeks, is if the old school way works for an old receiver.
Scott just doesn't get caught up in his 40-yard times. He figures what's the difference between a 4.34 and a 4.48 if he still gets to the ball before anybody else.
"I don't know," Scott said when asked what he ran in the 40 before he got hurt. "That's for you to tell me. When they throw the ball, as long as I'm able to go get it with no problems, I'm cool. And I'm cool."
After throwing to him Tuesday, Mooshagian thinks Scott is breezing into form.
"He's done everything Dick and I have asked him to do," Mooshagian said. "He's on top of his game. I know I had a terrible time trying to overthrow him. I launched one and he still ran it down."