New snapper gets call

12-7-01, 4:15 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Randy Chevrier's 72-hour Bengal career took a dramatic turn Friday when he was promoted to the active roster and named the long snapper for Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

Bengals head coach Dick LeBeau also said after Friday's practice that left guard Matt O'Dwyer (knee) looks to be a go for the first time in a month. But cornerback Artrell Hawkins and wide receiver Danny Farmer are doubtful with ankle sprains.

Chevrier, a rookie drafted by those same Jaguars in the seventh-round last April, takes the place of tight end Brad St. Louis after a season-ending torn groin muscle ended his streak of 27 straight games as the Bengals' long snapper.

Chevrier, who snapped for the Cowboys for eight games before getting cut after a bad field-goal snap Nov. 11 against the Falcons, took the bulk of Friday's snaps ahead of tight end Kirk McMullen. Although McMullen has worked all year with

kicker Neil Rackers and punter Nick Harris, LeBeau thinks he'll be better off concentrating on his first NFL start at tight end.

"He's snapped in the NFL. We like that," LeBeau said of Chevrier, a 290-pound defensive tackle. "He's got the most velocity, we like that. (McMullen) can focus in on what he has to get done."

LeBeau isn't too concerned about Rackers and Harris, doubling as the holder, getting timed up with a snapper that has only four days of work with his kickers.

"Randy's snap is very close to Brad's," LeBeau said. "Hopefully that will facilitate the equal timing situation. You've got the same holder, that's good."

Chevrier, out of McGill University in Montreal , actually worked with Harris at January's East-West Shrine Game when the teams practiced together.

"If I get the ball to them in a good area, I don't think there should be a timing problem," Chevrier said.

In Jacksonville, running back Fred Taylor (groin) and outside linebacker Kevin Hardy (knee) are projected as out for the Jags for Sunday. Starting cornerback Fernando Bryant and Hardy's backup, Danny Clark, are iffy.

Quarterback Mark Brunell (quad) worked all of Friday's practice and tight end Kyle Brady (ankle) returned to work.

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