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Bengals keep lining up

7-10-01, 12:25 a.m.


The Bengals hope to add another player to their ever growing defensive line by the end of Tuesday.

Bernard Whittington, a long-time member of the Colts, comes to Cincinnati for a physical while agent David Levine is expected to discuss a possible deal with the Bengals.

The 6-5, 280-pound Whittington started 12 games last year during his seventh season in Indianapolis and is viewed mainly as a tackle.

But Bengals scout Duke Tobin, whose stint in

Indianapolis overlapped with Whittington, said Cincinnati is interested in his ability to also play on the end as well as inside.

"His strongest suit isn't as a pass rusher," Tobin said. "But he's a versatile guy who is solid, durable, reliable and he'll work hard for you. We have been looking at him (since free agency started) and backed off when we made some moves. But we're interested again and think it could be a good addition."

The Bengals have already added a tackle in Tony Williams of the Vikings and an end in Kevin Henry of the Steelers through free agency. Plus, they cut and then re-signed end John Copeland.

Whittington's versatility would be welcomed because only Copeland and Glen Steele have been able to play both on first and second down. End Vaughn Booker has the ability, but pretty much only goes inside on passing downs.

With Booker and tackle Tom Barndt each coming off injury-plagued seasons and the club wanting to see more from Henry after some minicamp struggles, the seasoned Whittington's availability 10 days before training camp has the club intrigued.

The Colts signed Whittington as a free agent out of Indiana in 1994 and he turns 30 at the end of training camp next month.

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