Blast from Past

4-11-01, 6:20 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Bruce Coslet drove into Paul Brown Stadium Wednesday for the first time since he drove out last September and hoped they wouldn't tow his car.

His car survived. And so has Coslet, who isn't ready to junk his coaching career just yet.

"We'll sit out this year and see what happens next year," Coslet said. "I'm 54 years old. I'm not ready to retire."

Coslet said he only had one job interview after the season, but never thought new Washington head coach Marty Schottenheimer would hire him as offensive coordinator with Jimmy Raye, Schottenheimer's coordinator in Kansas City, waiting in the wings.

"I talked to Marty because I've got a lot of respect for him," Coslet said. "I turned down a couple of other interviews. Not the right job in the right place. So we'll see what happens."

He says he's not feeling the hunger pangs yet of a man who had been a NFL coach since 1980. But as he left a downtown appointment via the bridge Wednesday morning, he couldn't help but see the football being thrown around down at the stadium.

He knew how to get there. As he stood with Bengals President Mike Brown discussing

the mechanics of dropping back to pass while they watched quarterback Akili Smith, the seven months separating Coslet from the ultimate heartbreak of resignation seemed to evaporate.

"Sure, it's in the blood. I'm a coach," Coslet said. "Am I painfully missing it? No. But this is the wrong time of year to be missing it. When July 17 comes and I'm not at training camp like I have been for how many years, I'm sure there will be some pangs. But I'm doing OK. I'm keeping busy. I'm not just sitting around the house or playing golf."

Coslet, who is playing enough golf that he's got a 6 handicap, sold his West Chester house and plans to live briefly in his Florida home. But he and his wife will return again soon to the place they call, "their home." Kathy Coslet is a Cincinnati native and they have bought some land in Kentucky.

Coslet has also been keeping busy as part owner part owner of Digital Replay, a marketing company that makes imaging products. Coslet said the firm has a patent allowing it to put three-dimensional and motion images on cups. When he told Brown the company had just made a deal with the Cleveland Browns, Brown joked, "so that's why you came over."

Coslet laughed: "No, I've already got somebody else talking to your marketing guys."

"It was good to see Bruce again. He looks and sounds good," said Brown, whose family employed Coslet for 25 of his 30 years in the NFL. "I'm fond of him and you just hope things work out for him."

As the players and coaches came off the field, Coslet shook hands and took notice of Smith's new upper body strength.

"He looks in good shape," Coslet said. "He's buffed. That will help him. He's throwing OK. It's hard to tell in shorts, but his motion looked good. It's time for him to break out. I've said all along he has the ability. He just has to do it."

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