The I-74 Rivalry And The Connections Between The Bengals And Colts

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 01: Anthony Gonzalez #11 of Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball while defended by Eugene Wilson #26 of the Houston Texans during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 1 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Ever wonder how connected the Bengals and Colts really are? Consider that Indianapolis and Cincinnati is the shortest geographical rivalry in the AFC (110 miles) with Pittsburgh and Cleveland coming in second at 137 miles. Both teams have met 19 times in the previous 20 preseasons (Bengals lead the series 13-6); though the Colts dominate the regular season series 17-8.

Geographical and rivalry aside, the players and coaches in this series are diversely connected to each other's home regions or as former teammates.

Hometown Connections (Bengals In Indiana)

  • Defensive end Victor Adeyanju played at Indiana.
  • Cornerback David Pender appeared in three games with the Colts in 2010 and played collegiately at Purdue University.
  • Kyle Caskey, Cincinnati's offensive quality control coach, coached at Indiana State from 2006-2008.
  • Defensive line coach Jay Hayes coached at Notre Dame from 1988-1991.

Hometown Connections (Colts in Cincinnati region)

  • Colts head coach Jim Caldwell coached at Louisville in 1985.
  • Defensive coordinator Larry Coyer coached at Bowling Green (1968-1973) and the Ohio State University (1991-1992).
  • Tight ends coach Ricky Thomas coached at Kentucky in 1996.
  • Colts offensive tackle Jeff Linkenbach (Sandusky, Ohio) and defensive tackle Ricardo Matthews played at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (Cleveland, Ohio) played at the Ohio State University.
  • Tight end Jacob Tamme (from Danville, Kentucky) played at Kentucky.
  • Wide receiver Pierre Garcon played at the University of Mount Union.
  • Wide receiver Mike Hartline played at Kentucky University.
  • Wide receiver Joe Horn (Waynesfield, Ohio) played at Ashland.
  • Punter Travis Baltz is from Whitehouse, Ohio.
  • Running back Delone Carter grew up in Copley, Ohio.
  • Defensive back Chris Rucker is a native of Warren, Ohio.

NFL Connections:

  • Running back Cedric Benson and Colts defensive tackle Tommie Harris were once teammates with the Chicago Bears.
  • Safety Chris Crocker and Colts defensive end Jamaal Anderson were teammates with the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Linebacker Thomas Howard and defensive end Tyler Brayton spent time together with the Oakland Raiders.
  • Tight end Bo Scaife was once teammates with Indianapolis quarterback Kerry Collins, defensive tackle Antonio Johnson and offensive tackle Michael Toudouze on the Tennessee Titans.

College Connections

  • Quarterback Andy Dalton was teammates with defensive end Jerry Hughes and offensive guard Jake Kirkpatrick at TCU.
  • Offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and Nate Livings were once teammates with running back Joseph Addai at LSU.
  • Linebackers Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers and safety Taylor Mays were teammates with Colts defensive tackle Fili Moala and defensive back Kevin Thomas at the University of Southern California.
  • Cornerback David Pender competed with defensive back Brandon King at Purdue University.
  • Fullback Chris Pressley is former teammates with Colts wide receiver David Gilreath at the University of Wisconsin.

Coaching Connections

  • Colts defensive coordinator Larry Coyer worked with Paul Alexander (Bengals offensive line coach) on the New York Jets coaching staff in 1994. Coyer also served with Jay Gruden (2007-2008) in Tampa Bay.
  • Bengals linebacker coach Jeff FitzGerald worked with the Colts offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and tight ends coach Ricky Thomas in Tampa Bay.
  • Head coach Jim Caldwell and special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski worked with the Bengals strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton at Penn State.
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