4-26-04, 3:05 a.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
**Chris Perry hit a number of topics Sunday when the Bengals new running back visited Paul Brown Stadium for the first time.
In fact, one of those topics was numbers. He hooked up with equipment managers Rob Recker and Jeff Brickner long enough to get the uniform jersey his grandmother suggested: No. 26 for his slot in the first round of Saturday's NFL Draft. Here are some of the questions he took on and off the podium by members of the media and Bengals.com:
Q: What has been the effect of your mother's battle with breast cancer?**
CP: You know what? It lets me know you can't worry about things you can't control. You can't try and control them. You have to put it in God's hands. It really made me step back and look at life in general and let you know what's important to you. **
Q: You are so close to her. It must have been devastating.**
CP: I knew something was wrong. She never told
me what. She kept going to the doctor and I kept asking what was wrong, and she just never gave me an answer. I found out through one of her friends that there was really something wrong with her and then she told me she had cancer.
I think that makes you stronger. If you go through any stress or any problem in life, it always helps you become a stronger person at the end of it. That's the case with her cancer and me. It helped both of us become stronger as well as everyone around us.
Q: What a great month it's been. She got cleared not too long ago.
CP: She's been cleared. The radiation treatments are going well, and I just got drafted in the first round by the Bengals. We continue to get blessed and hopefully it will continue. **
Q: She's written nine novels. Have you read them?**
CP: No, but I was there at the making. While she was writing them. I needed to go somewhere and she'd say, "I'm writing now." So I'd sit in the house or go to a friend's house. I was there for the making, but I haven't had a chance to read them. **
Q: Your father works in the prison system in Greensboro, N.C. He and your mother made sure you got some tours. What was your reaction?**
CP: I like my freedom. It didn't shake me up. It's jail. If you go through it so many times, it's not really that shocking. You just don't want to be on the other side of the bars. **
Q: Do you think going to Fork Union (Military Academy) helped you in high school?**
CP: No. I take that back. I think Coach Sullivan and a few other people at Fork Union helped me. But Fork Union as a whole, the military aspect, and the and people in the military part, no, I don't like them at all. I can't stand them to tell you the truth. **
Q: Your mother thinks it helped.**
CP: She thinks that because it was her idea for me to go there.
Q: The first time you talked to Coach Lewis, he was trying to get you to play for the North team in the Senior Bowl. Why didn't you play?
CP: I talked to my coaches, I talked to my agent and they told me the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity, but we feel this game, it's not best for you. **
Q: What do you think attracted the Bengals to you?**
CP: I think it was my overall versatility. Being able to make guys miss. Being able to catch the ball and block and run well. I think that will really help this organization, along with Rudi Johnson and the other running backs.
Q: Initially your role is going to probably be as a third-down back. How will you react to that?
CP: I'm fine with that. I want to win. That's the biggest thing about me. I want to win. If it takes me coming in on third down and catching the ball to get the first down for us to win, that's fine. **
Q: What do you think about the potential of this team?**
CP: I feel good about the potential. You have to take notice last year of their turnaround. Especially when Chad Johnson came out and said they were going to beat the Chiefs and then went out there and beat them. Everybody at Michigan paid attention to the Bengals, It make you want to be a part of the organization and help this team win.
Q: What did you think of Chad's guarantee?
CP: That's what you're supposed to do. Have confidence in your team.
Q: What's in the CD player in your car right now?
CP: JZ, Reasonable Doubt. You have Pot, Me Against the World. You got Carl Thomas. You got Outcast. AT Aliens. **
What's the last movie you saw?**
CP: I think it might have been the Passion. **
What did you think?**
CP: Rough. Rough. You saw it?
CP: What are you all doing? The Passion is rough. You have to check that out. **
Q: Favorite actor?**
CP: Denzell (Washington) puts it down when he gets on screen. **
Q: Favorite actress?**
CP: I could look at Halle (Berry) all day. She doesn't have to say anything. **
Favorite NFL player?**
CP: I like Priest (Holmes) a lot. I like the way he goes into the end zone. How he does that little slow, slide. That's nice. I'm going to have to copy him.