Who the hell are Bo Harris and Leo Barker, you're asking. You'd be right in asking that, because as our comments indicate on historical Bengals postings, many of you know little about the Bengals during their more historical runs in the 70s through the late 80s. Sure, you've read about most of it but did you really experience it on the level that you're experiencing the Bengals today?
Let's put it this way. Bo Harris and Leon Barker are two players that are nominated for the best Bengals player to wear No. 53, along with Rashad Jeanty, who only sported the number for one season in 2009 before his release after a failed physical in 2010. Jeanty is already our selection for best player to wear No. 93 which will be announced as we head into training camp if it's still scheduled for late July (early August).
Bo Harris was the Bengals left outside linebacker for eight seasons, playing 103 games and starting 32 with heavy special teams contributions. He posted 2.0 quarterback sacks and picked off seven passes in his career -- one pass was returned 62 yards for a touchdown. Harris also recovered five fumbles during his career that began in 1975 and ended in 1982.
Leon Barker had a similar career with the Bengals, but to a lesser pedigree, as an outside linebacker with special teams contributions. In his eight seasons with the Bengals from 1984-1991, Barker played 122 games, starting 24, posting three quarterback sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries -- one returned for a touchdown.
Then you have the more recent Rashad Jeanty who started 32 games from 2006-2009 after signing with the Bengals from the CFL. Jeanty, a strong-side outside linebacker wore No. 53 during his final season with the Bengals in 2009. Jeanty, an established pass rusher in the CFL, never posted a quarterback sack, but did force five fumbles, recovering four. During the 2008 season, Jeanty started 15 games with the Bengals recording 96 tackles that season.