2-3-04, 9 p.m.
2-4-04, 4:15 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
Former Bengals head coach Sam Wyche is in Buffao going through a tryout of sorts this week in his bid to become new head coach Mike Mularkey's quarterbacks coach. Wyche is trying to show Mularkey, the man he started in NFL coaching 10 years ago in Tampa Bay, that his voice can hold up for the job.
"I'm here for a week basically serving as a volunteer assistant," Wyche said. "We'll see how it goes."
PRO BOWL STARTS: The AFC lined up Bengals at right tackle (Willie Anderson) and wide receiver (Chad Johnson) in the starting lineup during its first practice Tuesday in preparation for Sunday's Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Anderson was named a starter when Kansas City's Willie Roaf withdrew and was replaced by Tennessee's Brad Hopkins. Starting opposite Anderson is Ravens left tackle Jonathan Ogden.
Anderson, an eight-year veteran making his first Pro Bowl appearance, is the first Cincinnati lineman to make the all-star game since Anthony Munoz 12 years ago. He found out he was a popular player when it comes to the tradition of trading helmets.
"(Jets center) Kevin Mawae was telling me the only ones he pretty much didn't have were the Bengals and Browns," Anderson said.
Count Anderson as one of the big advocates of the Bengals' new synthetic field.
"The grass was just another negative thing they tried to say about us," Anderson said. "Just get rid of all the negative, that's the best thing."
NOTES AND QUOTES:** The Houston lawyer representing Bengals left tackle Levi Jones is disputing a police report that landed Jones in jail overnight with a Class D misdemeanor. Bob Sussman stressed he is just now delving into the case, but he believes the charge is baseless.
"Just my initial reaction is that there is nothing to these charges and I'm concerned about how the police handled things," Sussman said. "It's a shame that something like this could happen in Houston. There doesn't seem to be any foundation for it."
Jones and his brother were arrested early Monday morning outside a Houston nightspot for interfering with police. Jones was cited for trying to grab a police officer's nightstick, but a source said Jones contends he was hit from behind several times without any provocation.
Sussman wouldn't get into specifics: "We're in the initial stages of the case.". . .
In preparation for an offseason he hopes ends in a trade, Bengals running back Corey Dillon has changed agents. He is no longer represented by David Dunn and Joby Branion, the agents that represented him during the contract negotiations that yielded a five-year, $26 million deal before the 2001 season. Dillon wouldn't say whom his new agent is going to be, his fourth since the Bengals drafted him in the second round in 1997. . .
SHULTZ LEAVES:** The Bengals lost their second assistant coach of the offseason Tuesday when assistant strength and conditioning coach Kurtis Shultz became the head man in Minnesota. Shultz, 31, the former University of Maryland basketball strength and conditioning coach, has a relationship with Vikings head coach and Maryland product Mike Tice.
"It's tough to leave with what Marvin (Lewis) and Mr. (Mike) Brown are getting done," Shultz said.
"But what it came down to is there are only
32 of these jobs and you can't turn down the chance to take one when it comes along, and I know Mike and we have a good relationship. Plus, they've got some really good players and really only missed the playoffs by one play."
Shultz made his name in Baltimore as Pro Bowl middle linebacker Ray Lewis' personal trainer, as well as his work in College Park, but he thinks the year in Cincinnati under Chip Morton has helped him take the next step.
"I was the top man for so long, this job kind of humbled me," Shultz said. "When it comes to the administrative side, Chip is so detailed and organized and really does an excellent job of matching it up with football. And being with Marvin is just great. Just being around his emotion and how he hates to lose. The guy is such a good coach, you know he's going to be successful here."
Last month, the Bengals lost wide receivers coach Alex Wood when he became the Arizona offensive coordinator and they filled the job with Redskins offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.