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Bo knows World

6-21-02, 6:30 p.m.


Bo Jennings intercepted Rhein quarterback Tee Martin and shut down Berlin wide receiver Dane Looker. So the Bengals cornerback has a pretty good idea who will have the upper hand in Saturday's World Bowl at noon on Fox.

"Berlin by 10 points," Jennings predicted Friday. "They didn't have success throwing the ball earlier in the season, but when they went to the running game and began to pound it, they became a much better team."

Jennings comes to training camp next month as a second-year player off a solid 10-game stint in NFL Europe in which he played all the secondary spots for the Amsterdam Admirals. He has a long climb as the seventh cornerback on a team that may only keep five and no more than six, but he staked his claim with two interceptions and the fourth most tackles on a team that finished 4-6.

Three of those wins came against the World Bowl teams, including a 24-19 win over Berlin in which Jennings stoned Looker, NFL Europe's leader in receptions and yards, on three catches for 22 yards.

"A lot of times they let Bo go one-on-one with the other team's best

receiver and played zone everywhere else," said Jim Lippincott, the Bengals director of pro/college personnel, after he reviewed the tapes. "His coaches really liked his versatility and his tackling and they felt he was their best defensive back."

Jennings, a mid-season waiver wire pickup from the Lions in response to Rodney Heath's season-ending hamstring injury, goes to Georgetown College with the confidence of playing in the slot most of the spring. He also played both cornerback spots, but spent much of his time inside.

"Every team except Frankfurt went pretty much with three receivers every snap," Jennings said. "I really liked working in the slot because I got a chance to work on my techniques and balance with using my hands. Playing over here gave me a lot of confidence when I went over there."

Jennings played in nine games as an occasional nickel back last year and received accolades for his coverage and toughness. He flashed his ability to make plays this past spring when he picked off Martin twice late in the Admirals' Opening Day victory over Rhein.

After helping douse the Fire, 28-10, in the last regular season game, Jennings thinks Berlin will be able to Tee off on Martin.

"They took him out of that game early because they said they wanted to get him ready for the World Bowl," Jennings said. "But I thought we rattled him. We hit him and blitzed him and I think he was confused. I think that's what they'll do to him this week."

Jennings is impressed with Berlin's balance, which boasts Denver quarterback Todd Husak, Arizona running back Anthony White, and the 6-0,183-pound Looker from the Rams

Looker has been compared to the Patriots' Troy Brown because of the frequency in which the Thunder puts him in motion to find him open spaces in the middle of an offense that led the World with 231 points and passes attempted during the season. White arrived in Berlin in Week 7 to give the passing game a lift, just in time to rip off a club-record 197 yards on the ground last week.

"(Husak) has a good arm and he makes really good decisions," Jennings said. "Looker has good hands and can get open and they do a good job running the ball."

No Bengal made World Bowl X, which has become an all-Germany affair between Berlin and Rhein in Dusseldorf.

Defensive lineman Mario Monds ripped up his knee before he made the trip to Europe, while wide receiver Khori Ivy , long snapper Randy Chevrier, guard-center Ray Redziniak, and linebacker Riall Johnson got sent to a Barcelona team that went 2-8. Johnson actually got assigned to four teams after suffering an injury, but ended up only playing five games for two teams. He's expected to be ready for training camp.

Last year, strong safety JoJuan Armour parlayed his World experience into a starting spot in Cincinnati. Jennings isn't so sure where he'll end up.

"I'm not thinking about that," Jennings said. "I just believe I'll be playing somewhere, whether it's with the Bengals or somewhere else."

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