Cincinnati Bengals punter and wide receiver Pat McInally once told Bengals head coach Forrest Gregg, "Your primitive exercise does not fatigue me cardiovascularly." The head coach broke out laughing at the time. Selected in the fifth round as the 120th overall selection during the 1975 NFL Draft, McInally is the only player to score a verified perfect score on the Wonderlic.
McInally, however, says he didn't know he'd scored so high until he read about it in the newspaper after he retired.
"The Bengals kept it from me for years and years," he says. "They didn't want me to know."
When McInally was drafted out of Harvard, it came as a bit of surprise because the Bengals certainly didn't need a wide receiver with guys like Isaac Curtis, Charley Jointer and Chip Meyers having decent seasons the year before and punter Dave Green finishing third in the conference with a 41 yards/punt average.
Bengals coach Bill Walsh, who coached quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers at the time, said, "It's a good, easy way to break a kid into the pros", allowing McInally to ease into the system. Walsh would leave soon afterwards due to being passed up as the Bengals head coach when Paul Brown retired and choose Bill Johnson as his successor. Johnson would later hand over his resignation after only coaching 33 games and starting the 1978 season at 0-5 while Walsh beat the Bengals in two Super Bowls. Jerk.
Soon after being drafted, McInally broke his leg during the the annual midsummer College All-Stars game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and missed his rookie season, easily reminding ourselves why we hate the damned Steelers so, so, so much (to the tenth power).
McInally would go on to play 10 seasons with the Bengals, mostly as a punter, though he did post 57 career receptions for 808 yards receiving and five touchdowns through 1981; the last time he caught a pass. McInally will go on to be remembered as one of the franchise's best punters -- behind Lee Johnson of course, who had the luxury of punting on a team that had absolutely no offense throughout much of the 90s.
The following are franchise (not league) records held by McInally.
- Second with 700 career punts
- Third with 91 punts in a season (1978)
- Second with 29,307 career punting yards.
- Third with 3,919 punting yards in a season (1978)
- Fourth with a 41.9 yard/punt career average.
- 45.4 yards/punt average in 1981 ranks second all-time in franchise history for a season.
- 55.7 yards/punt average on September 27, 1981 (against Buffalo) ranks second all-time in a game (minimum three punts).
- 157 punts inside the 20-yard line is second in franchise history.
- 25 punts inside the 20-yard line ranks fifth for a season (1978).
- 5 punts inside the 20-yard line is tied with Kevin Huber for second-most in a game. McInally did it twice; October 5, 1980 against the Green Bay Packers and October 21, 1984 against the Cleveland Browns.
Since retiring from the NFL, McInally "conceived a line of action figures that were sculpted and painted to resemble specific pro football and baseball players" called the Starting Lineup, making him a fortune.
Now the former Bengals punter and wide receiver is an unpaid head coach for the Huntington Beach Brethren Christian, coaching his freshman quarterback son, Jack.