6-30-03, 9:50 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
With the Bengals' players and coaches pretty much on their own schedule until training camp opens, here are some of the key dates heading into the regular season:
JUNE 29-JULY 2 _ The NFL holds its annual rookie symposium in West Palm Beach, Fla., for all the players chosen in last April's draft. It's a week of reviewing how to avoid the off-field pitfalls of life in the league. **
JULY 10 _ ** The NFL holds its annual supplemental draft and, as in April, the Bengals hold the first pick if they choose to exercise it. It's the same draft order and the same number of rounds as back on April 26-27, but only six players are available. If the Bengals choose to draft a player, they would lose the corresponding round in next April's draft, so they would have to make the determination they couldn't get a similar player in the next draft at that spot.
Head coach Marvin Lewis said the Bengals research everything, including the supplemental draft, but wouldn't say if the club has specific interests in this crop.
"Any player you take at that point wouldn't be fitting a need,' Lewis said. "It would be for the future. You would be drafting the guy for how talented he is."
Gil Brandt of NFL.com says the most interesting guy is Georgia Tech running back Tony Hollings. The 5-10, 223-pound Hollings is an ex-defensive back with 4.47 speed in the 40-yard dash. He led the country in rushing for four games last year on 633 yards and 11 touchdowns before tearing his ACL. Other prospects are Alabama State defensive end Earl Cochran, Oregon State defensive end Noah Happe, Louisiana-Lafayette wide receiver Donovan Morgan, Northern Colorado wide receiver Brad Pyatt, and Northeastern Oklahoma defensive tackle Jason Cedeno. **
JULY 16 _ Last day players can work out at Paul Brown Stadium.
JULY 27_ Rookies and veterans report to Georgetown College for the Bengals' seventh training camp at the Georgetown, Ky., campus.
JULY 28 _ Lewis runs his first camp practice as Bengals head coach in a 8:45 a.m. practice, followed by a 4 p.m. workout.
AUG. 1 _ The offense takes on the defense in the club's annual intrasquad scrimmage at 6:30 p.m. Autograph session to follow. Admission is free. Parking is $10.
AUG. 2 _ The first Orange vs. Black mock game, featuring two teams in non-contact situations while simulating all other aspects of a game in a 1 p.m. event followed by an autograph session. Admission is free. Parking is $10.
AUG. 6 _ Night practice at Georgetown from 6:30-9, followed by an autograph session.
AUG. 10 _ Two of the NFL's three African-American head coaches open the preseason when Lewis faces the Jets' Herman Edwards in a rare Sunday afternoon game in August at 1 p.m in the Meadowlands.
AUG. 14 _ Night practice at Georgetown from 6:30-8, followed by an autograph session.
AUG. 16 _ Two first-year head coaches face each other in Paul Brown Stadium's '03 opener when the Lions come to town with Steve Mariucci as head coach for a 7:30 p.m. game.
AUG. 23 _ The Bengals play their first preseason game ever against the Houston-Tennessee franchise when the Titans are here for a 7:30 p.m. game.
AUG. 25 _ First practice back at Paul Brown Stadium.
AUG. 26 _ ** All NFL rosters must be cut to 65 players.
AUG. 29 _ Two of the NFL's three African-American head coaches, Lewis and the Colts' Tony Dungy, close the preseason with an 8 p.m. game Cincinnati time in Indianapolis. **
AUG. 31 _ Final cut down for all NFL rosters to 53 players.
SEPT. 7 _ ** Bengals open the NFL regular season at Paul Brown Stadium when Lewis makes his debut against one of the league's most successful head coaches in the Broncos' Mike Shanahan.