9-29-03, 8:30 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
The Bengals and Hamilton County are making the biggest mid-season overhaul on the Paul Brown Stadium field by installing a clay-based thick sod in time for the Bengals' next home game Oct. 19 against the Ravens.
The county's estimated $75,000 re-sodding began last Friday and will be done this Wednesday after the field underwent fire from the Bengals franchise player and the Steelers head coach following Pittsburgh's 17- 10 victory at PBS Sept. 21.
Eric Brown, managing director of PBS, said Monday that after that game, head groundskeeper Darian Daily recommended replacing the majority of the field with the clay-based sod that is one and three/fourths inches thick. The sod goes on top of the surface that is 80-20 percent sand to soil.
The Bengals have re-sodded the field during the previous three seasons, but only down the middle with the sand-based product. Daily is overseeing installation of the clay mix over virtually the entire field.
"Field replacement has become part of the normal maintenance practice for natural grass fields in NFL stadiums located in northern climates," Brown said. "All the work currently underway is being paid for through the existing Paul Brown Stadium budget."
But running back Corey Dillon is still fuming a week after straining his groin on the grass in the Steeler game, and won't temper his comments even though he's been asked. Those close to Dillon say he's not trying to start a rift with the team as he most likely ends his streak of 52 straight starts this Sunday in Buffalo in order to rest it this week and during next week's bye.
Only Eddie George and Curtis Martin have longer streaks among NFL running backs, and Dillon is furious over getting hurt on the grass and now says he shouldn't have even played in the game against Pittsburgh after hyperextending his knee in Oakland Sept 14.
P< "that's="" the="" superhero="" in="" me="" telling="" me="" i've="" to="" get="" out="" there="" because="" i="" want="" to="" play,"="" dillon="" said.="" "hey,="" it="" just="" made="" it="" worse.="" i'm="" telling="" that="" superhero="">
now to shut up and put it to rest. Even a wolverine needs to heal when he gets wounded."
Dillon says he is now officially looking for some other NFL team on which to take out his frustration on the field, literally, but he won't get the chance, apparently until Oct. 19 on the new surface at PBS. Head coach Marvin Lewis has all but ruled out Dillon for this week in Buffalo, and Dillon is pushing for Oct. 19.
"I don't know who is going to get it, but somebody is going to get it," Dillon said. "It's going to be something serious, it's going to be (bleep) and vinegar, son. I'm hot. Believe me, they've thrown a little gasoline on that fire. I am (bleeped) off. I'm going to be nothing humble when I get back. It's me being ticked off at the world again, and this time I've got good reason to be ticked off. I don't know who's going to get it, but somebody is going to get it."
Dillon isn't even thinking about that impending Oct. 19 matchup with the Ravens' Jamal Lewis, the running back that broke his NFL single-game rushing record of 278 by 17 yards earlier this month.
"I don't care about 100 yards or 1,000 yards," Dillon said. "I'm looking to get healthy. Hey, I'm still getting five yards a whop (he had 20 yards on four carries on Sunday), and I'm injured. What am I going to do healthy?"
Dillon says he hasn't been healthy since wrenching his knee in the second quarter on the way to a 71-yard first half in Oakland.
"Interesting. Very interesting," said Dillon when told of the re-sodding at PBS. "Thank you very much. It's not some help to me. Oh well, it's too bad something doesn't happen until somebody gets hurt.
"I can't say enough about the situation, if I do it's like I'm saying something bad. So I'm not even going to comment on it. All I know is I'm hurt. I wonder why? I don't know. I'm just hurt and I'm mad."