Bengals know Dillon agents

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Bengals running back Corey Dilllon's new agents have a track record of getting long-term deals with the club.

The NFL Players Association was informed Monday that David Levine of Miami and Jim Sims of Oakland, Calif., are Dillon's representatives after he ended his relationship with Marvin Demoff last week.

Levine had no comment Monday, but the two men represent 10 Bengals, nearly a quarter of the club.

In the past few years, Levine has represented Oliver Gibson and Darryl Williams when they signed free-agent deals with the Bengals, and he did the deal for No. 1 pick Reinard Wilson in 1997 before there was any kind of holdout.

Sims is the agent for Bengals linebackers Takeo Spikes and Adrian Ross. The pair have also signed on another linebacker in rookie Armegis Spearman.

Dillon becomes a free agent after the season, although the Bengals can get the right to match any offer by making him a transition player with a one-year offer that's the average of the NFL's top 10 paid running backs.

BEAN COUNTER: Cornerback Tom Carter may be struggling on the field, but he remains one of the most decent Bengals. For the second time in the 24 hours since quarterback Troy Aikman torched him for a touchdown and two pass interference calls, stood in front of his locker Monday and took all questions.

Yes, he expects rookie Robert Bean, a fifth-round draft pick, to get the start in front of him at left cornerback Sunday. Bean said he was told only to prepare as if he was starting, but Carter can see the writing and says he believes Bean gets the nod.

"I feel blessed that I have no new emotions I can feel at this position," Carter said. "I've experienced them all and I know how to deal with them. . .I know the nature of the beast."

Carter, the eight-year veteran who is the Bible study captain and this club's spiritual leader, talks often with Akili Smith. He thinks the demoted young quarterback is going to handle it well.

"Once you squash the pride, you can see a little bit," Carter said. "You have to kill it. If you don't kill the pride, you go around angry all day. . .He's going to have the same thoughts I do. You want to play. You never want to come out of a game. . .But you have to take it like a pro."

INJURY UPDATE: LT John Jackson (hamstring) is out for the Patriots game. . .LBs Adrian Ross (ankle) and Canute Curtis (hand) are questionable.

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