Garrett replaces Verducci

2-11-01, 4:40 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

With Frank Verducci leaving the Bengals' coaching staff Monday, the club moved offensive assistant John Garrett into the job of tight ends coach.

It's believed Verducci is joining Bruce Coslet's offensive staff in Dallas as offensive line coach, but the Cowboys made no announcement Monday.

The Bengals decided Garrett's scouting abilities and experience with the Bengals made him the best of a handful of candidates.

Coslet is the former Bengals head coach now the Cowboys offensive coordinator who talked with Verducci about the line job. They had parted ways in the search late last week, but apparently there were new developments over the weekend.

Garrett, 36, who is in the second year of his second stint with the Bengals, returned last year after two seasons as an offensive assistant with the Cardinals. Before that, he had been an offensive assistant or the receivers coach for the Bengals from 1995-98.

The Bengals have high regard for Garrett's scouting and they figure it is a bonus in their search for a tight end

fairly early in the April 20-21 draft. Garrett inherits an extremely inexperienced position in which Tony McGee heads into his 10th season as the only tight end on the roster with more than two NFL starts.

"John is one of the brightest coaches I've been around," said Bengals head coach Dick LeBeau. "He's not that far from playing himself, so that would be a natural bridge for him with young players."

Garrett, a wide receiver out of Princeton, played for the Bengals in 1989 before getting cut on the eve of the1990 season. He hooked on with the Bills for part of the 1991 season after playing that spring in the World League.

The upcoming season is basically the rookie year for tight end Sean Brewer, last year's third-round pick who spent all last season on injured reserve after injuring his groin the week of the pre-season opener.

Verducci is looking to become the third straight Bengals tight ends coach to move up with another team. Gary Moeller left Cincinnati to join the Lions' defensive staff in a move that led to his brief tenure as Detroit's head coach. Bob Wylie, who replaced Moeller in 1997, went to the Bears in 1999 as offensive line coach and was replaced by Verducci.

"When I came into the league, my goal was to become a line coach," said Verducci, who came to Cincinnati after seven seasons as the Iowa line coach. "The Bengals have been great to me and put my personal interests first and for that I'm grateful."

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