2-17-04, 4:25 p.m.
Updated: 2-17-04, 10 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
On the eve of the Bengals' scouting party to Indianapolis Wednesday for the NFL combine, Greg Seamon has been made a full-time scout to fill the spot vacated by John Garrett's departure to the University of Virginia.
Garrett, a former assistant coach who was added to the personnel department last year with the hiring of head coach Marvin Lewis, is headed to the Cavaliers' staff as wide receivers coach. Seamon, a consultant to the Bengals' coaches last season who drew rave reviews from the staff as the club's first advance scout, had been in charge of breaking down the next week's opposition.
Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Lewis plans to address the advance scout's job at a later date.
Garrett, 38, a former Bengals receiver, had two coaching stints with the club at receiver and at tight end before making the move to personnel last year as part of the Bengals' effort to expand the personnel department and ease Lewis' coaches of some of the scouting responsibilities.
But his first love has always been coaching, and working the scouting trail last year stirred his kinship for the college game. Under Cavs head coach Al Groh, Garrett is not only going to coach the receivers, but also the tight ends in the passing game as well as playing a significant role in the program's evaluation of high school players.
"I missed the exhilaration of game days and developing players by working on technique and being able to apply it to a game," Garrett said. "When I visited campuses last year, I realized what a good fit college football is for me."
Seamon, 49, the Cowboys tight ends coach in 2002, had a portion of his Dallas salary picked up by the Bengals last year in a role he feels gives him a leg up on the evaluation of veteran free agents.
"No question. I've already evaluated several of those guys in person
during games and on tape," said Seamon, who went on the road each week to scout the foe's last game before meeting the Bengals. "Hopefully, I can give the organization something of value in that regard. I really am excited about the opportunity because in this day and age of parity in the NFL, the ability to be wise with our evaluation and our money is at a premium."
Like the other full-time scouts, senior vice president for player personnel Pete Brown, vice president for player personnel Paul Brown, director of football operations Jim Lippincott and director of player personnel Duke Tobin, as well as consultants Bill Tobin, John Cooper and former head coach Bruce Coslet, Seamon is also going to look at college players. Before he came into the league under Coslet's wing in Dallas, he had been a college coach for 18 years. His last two extended stints were as the offensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati from 1995-98 and Miami of Ohio in 1999 and 2000.
"Certainly with my ties to college, I know a lot of the coaches and I'm comfortable scouting college players," Seamon said.
Seamon also served as the offensive coordinator at the University of the Pacific from 1985-86 and Akron from 1991-94. A native of Bright, Ind., Seamon played football and baseball at Franklin College in Indiana before earning a degree at Marian College in Indianapolis and a master's degree from Pacific.
Garrett is one of the few people who evaluated players for the Bengals as a scout and coach, and he thinks the personnel expansion has helped Lewis lighten his staff's load.
"It definitely did that. It did take some of that burden away," said Garrett, who evaluated players for the Bengals as a scout and coach. "But I never considered it a burden. I always enjoyed it."
After a brief playing career, Garrett broke back into the league as a scout under his old Bengals head coach in Tampa Bay, Sam Wyche. Bengals President Mike Brown has always had regard for Garrett's scouting instincts, maybe since the 1998 draft when they were in the minority in their recommendations to take wide receiver Randy Moss with the 17th pick.
"When people ask me about my transition this past year to scouting, I tell them out of the 32 teams in the NFL, the Cincinnati Bengals are the best
team to scout for," Garrett said. "They trust you, your opinion matters, and they listen to you."