CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dick LeBeau took over as coach of the Cincinnati Bengals and had no illusions. He knows just about everything needs fixing.
"We have to stop people with more consistency. We have to score more points. Our kicking game has to be more consistent -- so we're talking about all areas of the game," LeBeau said Monday as he replaced Bruce Coslet, who resigned.
He didn't threaten a major overhaul. He didn't promise a quick turnaround.
"There will be some changes," LeBeau said in his quiet but firm way. "I was a player for 14 years and a coach in this league for 28 years. I think I have some ideas."
With an 0-3 record that included Sunday's 37-0 loss at Baltimore, and a 21-39 record overall, Coslet had enough. He gave Bengals president Mike Brown his resignation Monday morning.
"It was a very emotional, personal conversation," Brown said. "It was hard for me because he's a good man, a good friend and a good coach."
In the end, as he did when he hired Dave Shula in 1992 and Coslet in 1996, Brown went to someone with long ties to the Bengals and the Brown family.
"Dick is a person I've known most of my life," Brown said. "I don't know anyone with the Bengals who is more knowledgeable about football.
"He has our confidence, the confidence of the Brown family and myself. He has the confidence of his fellow coaches and, I think, of the players as well."
Defensive back Corey Hall backed LeBeau.
"Look at the defense we run. He put that package together," Hall said. "I trust him 100 percent."
LeBeau, 63, has been the team's defensive coordinator twice, first in 1984-91 before going to the Pittsburgh Steelers. When he was brought back by Coslet in 1997, he was given the additional title of assistant head coach.
LeBeau said he was stunned by Coslet's decision to quit.
"I tried to talk him out of it," LeBeau said. "He was not to be swayed."
The Bengals set an NFL record by losing 107 games in the 1990s, plus another on Jan. 2 in Jacksonville. The 2000 season has produced only seven points in three games. LeBeau's defense has allowed 74 points in three games.
"I think we have to take a look at everything," LeBeau said. "There's a reason we're not performing up to our capabilities, and we have to find that reason and resolve it."
Despite the circumstances, LeBeau said he felt good about becoming head coach.
"This is an honor," he said. "All of the coaches recognize this is a difficult challenge, but we can't wait to get out there."
Players were told of the changes Monday morning, and then were given the rest of the day off. Tuesday is always an off-day.
"I told them to meet with their position coaches, to be introspective momentarily, each man to look at himself and to come in Wednesday ready to get this thing going in the right direction," LeBeau said.
LeBeau said linebackers coach Mark Duffner will help coordinate the defense. Offensive coordinator Ken Anderson will take over the play calling, which Coslet had reserved to himself.
"Hopefully, what happened to us Sunday will not happen to us again, and you'll begin to see a much more competitive performance," LeBeau said. "We think we can win, and win on a regular basis with these people.
"We think we have a good, talented young football team. We have to look at all the reasons we're not getting it done right now."
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