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Report: Bengals tap Rams aide

1-19-03, 11 p.m.


Marvin Lewis has made his first hire on offense, agreeing to terms with Rams passing game assistant Ken Zampese as quarterbacks coach, according to a report in Monday's editions of "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch."

Zampese, 35, replaces Ken Anderson, whose 10-year term as the Bengals quarterbacks coach saw 10 different starters. It's believed Anderson is headed to Jacksonville as the Jaguars quarterbacks coach under new head man Jack Del Rio.

"The Florida Times-Union," reported Sunday that the Jags are interested in Anderson, but on Sunday night the Bengals wouldn't confirm a NFL source saying Anderson had the job. The club also wouldn't say if the Jags had requested permission to interview Anderson or if Zampese had been hired.

Zampese, son of Super Bowl coordinator Ernie Zampese during Dallas' run in the early 1990s, is viewed as a bright young mind who has worked with the Rams' prolific

passing game for the past three seasons. St. Louis finished first and second in NFL passing the past two years, respectively. Before one-year stints with the Eagles and Packers, Zampese coached at Miami of Ohio.

"Marvin Lewis has high energy and a lot of charisma," Zampese told Jim Thomas of The Post-Dispatch. "He's got a very positive style of leadership."

The hire looks to be the first step in Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski being able to put together the bulk of his own staff for the first time. Zampese, like his father, is out of the Don Coryell vertical passing game school. That's the style closest to what Bratkowski brought to Cincinnati in 2001 to an offensive staff he inherited that had been pretty much schooled in the Paul Brown-Bill Walsh-Sam Wyche West Coast passing scheme.

Bratkowski and running backs coach Jim Anderson are the only certain offensive holdovers from Dick LeBeau's staff. The status of offensive line coach Paul Alexander is still up in the air.

Anderson's move could end a 26-year relationship with the club that began in 1971 and which ended on the field 16 years later with him as the Bengals' all-time leading passer in the team's longest playing career. After a stint in radio and television, Anderson returned as quarterbacks coach in 1993 under Dave Shula.

Anderson could join special teams coach Al Roberts, defensive line coach Tim Krumrie, wide receivers coach Steve Mooshagian and strength and conditioning coach Kim Wood in the group of LeBeau assistants not returning to Lewis' staff.

Anderson, 53, became the Bengals' first franchise player after being drafted in the third round out of Augustana College in his native Illinois. He led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl in 1981, set the NFL record by completing 70.55 of his passes in 1982, and is the only man in NFL history to lead the league in passing back-to-back seasons in two different decades. Only Steve Young and Sammy Baugh won more than his four passing titles.

Anderson couldn't be reached for comment Saturday night.

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