5-7-01, 11:15 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
David Dunn, the agent for Pro Bowl running back Corey Dillon, said Monday night his client is excited about the Bengals' recent moves and looks forward to future talks with the club.
Dunn wouldn't comment on the bengals.com challenge Dillon issued Sunday night. He wants the team to strike a long-term deal with him in a long-as-it-takes meeting on Friday.
But Dunn did say Dillon is enthused about additions like Lorenzo Neal, regarded as one of the NFL's top blocking fullbacks. Dillon has four straight 1,000-yard seasons and Neal has blocked for four straight 1,000-yard rushers.
"We should have no problem doing that," Neal said. "I'm excited. Hopefully things can get done and we can get this team on a roll."
Dunn said, "We look forward to talking more with the Bengals about their plans," but he refused to get into when and where.
Earlier Monday, Bengals President Mike Brown said any day is good for him if the calendar is clear: "We
would like to get it done as soon as possible, just like Corey does."
Dillon, unsigned and the only Bengal to sit out minicamp, showed up in the locker room as the camp closed Monday afternoon. He consoled injured fullback Nick Williams by playing a video football game with him and quarterback Akili Smith.
He also reiterated to the media his challenge to get the deal done on Friday. Before Neal signed, Dillon indicated he was happy about the possibility of the former Titan joining the fold.
Dillon couldn't have been as happy as Neal. He said the presence of Dillon is a key factor he's here.
"I think so," Neal said. "Anytime you go to a team, you want to make sure you have an opportunity to play for a guy who is really tough. Corey is physical, he's tough, he's strong, he does it all. I think it was a factor. I'm glad he's here."
Neal is proud that he led the Jets' Adrian Murrell (1997), Tampa Bay's Warrick Dunn (1998) and Eddie George (1999 and 2000) to 1,000-yard seasons. He wants to keep the string alive with Dillon.
"I'm looking forward to meeting him and talking to him," Neal said. "If we have five straight over 1,000 yards, it would be an accomplishment and an honor for me."