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Coaches and vacation, Part two

By Jack Brennan

Yesterday on, we learned:

*That Mark Duffner coaches football when he's not officially coaching football.

*That Louie Cioffi, in a classic male bid to escape wedding planning, will be working a minicamp the day before his wedding.

*And that Ray Horton never knows where he's going on vacation until his wife clues him in.
Those revelations were in the first of our two-part series on how Bengals coaches deal with the issue of vacation. The coaches have already had a vacation period from May 29 through June 9, and they'll have a second session from July 3 to July 14. 

The reality for many football coaches is that vacations are easier to schedule than to fully enjoy. But each individual tries to relax in his own way. Yesterday we covered the defensive coaching staff and special teams coach Al Roberts. Today, we offer the vacation plans and philosophies of head coach Bruce Coslet and the offensive staff:

Bruce Coslet: "I don't think a head coach can ever get completely away," says the Bengal boss. "Two years ago I went with some coaches and friends on a golf trip to Scotland, but we were in (contract) negotiations with somebody, and I remember making a lot of long distance calls trying to check it out."

Coslet says he'll still "play a lot of golf" during vacation weeks, but his only trip of any length will be to join some friends for three days at the Firestone course in Akron.

"Our daughter (Amy) will be home from college this summer, so (wife) Kathy and I didn't really care to go anywhere," he says. "We'll just visit and try to get the batteries recharged before training camp.

"And it's really no hardship to come back to work," Coslet adds. "I know we're all looking forward to it."

Ken Anderson: The Bengals offensive coordinator rates with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and Coslet as the truest golf fanatics on the coaching staff. There'll be no special golf trip this summer for Anderson, but he promises to "get in plenty" of playing time during a family vacation to Hilton Head.

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"I play in the morning while my kids are asleep," he says. "They're of the age now, they stay out late at night and get up late. I can play a round, and they'll just be getting up when I get home. That way we don't lose any time together."

Jim Anderson: In season, the Bengals running backs coach is known as a 24-7 guy. But during vacation, Anderson seems to do a better job than most of his colleagues of putting football out of mind. He went fishing in Chesapeake Bay with his brother during the first vacation period, and will take his wife on a Caribbean cruise during the next period.

"Somebody once told me you have to make time to "pay yourself," and I really believe that," Anderson says. "You owe it to yourself to get away. I have a great time visiting with my brother. We make the fishing a competition.

"And I owe it to my wife that we take that cruise. She deserves that, to be wined and dined. To get dressed up and look great, and to have me looking pretty good myself in a tuxedo. It's a wonderful thing, and we do it every year."

Paul Alexander: Here's hard-core guy of the offensive staff.

The Bengals offensive line coach will spend virtually all his time during the July vacation period running football camps. He's a part-owner of Midwest Lineman Camps, which operate at six locations in Ohio and neighboring states.

"I admit it," Alexander says. "I love to coach big, ugly offensive linemen."

And how did Alexander spend his time during the first vacation period?

"Honey-Do's," he says with a smile. "I was never so glad to get back to football in my life."

Frank Verducci: "You can get away from football, and in my mind that's very necessary,"  says the Bengals tight ends coach. "What you have to do first is prioritize, to get on top of things before you go."
The Verduccis have young children, and this year's vacation agenda includes trips to Chicago and New York.

"We had a great time in Chicago, including a trip to Wrigley Field," Verducci says. "And next month we're going to New York. We're all real excited about it. It's a great getaway, and just what we need as a family."

Steve Mooshagian: The wide receivers coach and his wife, Rene, have three young teenagers. Steve wants to spend a lot of vacation time with them, but finding a chance to get out of town is tough.

"The kids are involved in baseball and softball," he says. "They have a lot of games, and it's tough to find a time when we can all get away. Our schedules don't coincide real well."

But the Mooshagians have found one week in July, when they plan to vacation in the Destin, Fla., area.

"You almost have to get out of town if you want to isolate yourself from football for a while," Mooshagian says. "If you're at home, you're going to be checking your messages at the office, talking to players ... it's hard to let it go when you're in town."

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