Since Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis joined Cincinnati in January of 2003, the Cincinnati Bengals have drafted six players out of the University of Georgia. Currently the team has two Pro Bowl players on roster from Georgia in A.J. Green and Geno Atkins.
Their former college head coach Mark Richt spoke with Pro Football Weekly this week about Green and Atkins.
"They've been very, very productive," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said of the ex-Bulldogs now in Cincinnati. "I think once you get a little string of that, you've got an idea of what you're getting as far as some of the intangibles that you can't measure by running and jumping and watching film."
Richt focuses specifically on Atkins:
"His size maybe is a little deceiving as to how powerful he is and how quick he is and how productive he can become," Richt told PFW Thursday. "So he's not doing a whole lot different than he did with us. He showed up and just started making plays for us and dominating guys that were a little bigger than him."
Other players that the Bengals have drafted out of Georgia include offensive guard Clint Boling and defensive end Robert Geathers, both of whom are still on the roster.
But most probably remember the unfortunate end with two former Georgia stars with shortened NFL careers due to drastically different circumstances. David Pollack suffered a spinal injury in the second game of the 2006 season, which would be his last in the NFL. For his part however, Pollack has shaped his future as a talented on-air personality for ESPN's college football coverage.
Then there was Odell Thurman. Suspended for two years from the NFL due to several off-the-field incidents until 2008, the former starting middle linebacker was eventually reinstated by NFL Commisser Roger Goodell in late April. The Bengals had initially planned on bringing him back to the fold, but decided to release him less than a month after he was reinstated. Initial reports suggested that the team waived him after failing to appear for an OTA, only days after his grandmother reportedly passed.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement after his release:
"The NFL provided Odell the opportunity to earn his way back onto our team, but we have not seen the right steps taken by him," Lewis said in the statement. "With our offseason work in progress and new talent added at our linebacker position, we've determined it's best to keep moving in a direction that does not include Odell."
According to sources at the time, Thurman had missed multiple OTAs and the team either wanted him back in the fold, or gone entirely. They choose the latter.
And that's my bad for highjacking this post into an entirely unrelated subject.
Undrafted Free Agent Dennis Roland is also another former Georgia Bulldog under Marvin Lewis' reign, as is former defensive end Josh Mallard (in 2008).