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Anthony Munoz Speaks To Southern California Youth About Character

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In a little break from the continuous coverage we've had on free agent visits/signings and updates on Training Camp, we came across an interesting story involving the best player to ever put on a Bengals uniform. With this offseason full of twists and turns for the orange and black, it's nice to focus on someone related to the team that is a symbol of stability, professionalism and success.

Courtesy of Brian Baiotto of The San Bernardino Sun, Bengals legend Anthony Munoz, with cooperation of the US Army, recently held his fifth annual football camp free-of-charge to participants. He holds this camp back at his alma mater of Chaffey High School, which is in his hometown in the Southern California area. Baiotto reports that the amount of participants have been growing each year and that the camp is a great success for the region's athletes.

Munoz spent the entire day with the youngsters and not only worked on fundamentals and drills with them, but also spoke to them about sportsmanship, character and critical life decisions. He drove home the fact that these aspects define someone as a human first and an athlete second. Interestingly, a lot of what he touched on came from his experiences as a Bengal. Take this quote, for example:

"We had worked all year to get to our sport's biggest stage and one of our running backs the night before Super Bowl 23 decided he was going to experiment with drugs and didn't get to play," Munoz told the crowd of players. "It was something that was a temporary satisfaction, but it is something that will affect that player for the rest of his life."

What was unique about this event was that it wasn't exclusive to local athletes. Many coaches from the area came to watch, listen and learn from Munoz. He also touched on other current NFL subjects at the camp. Aside from talking about the then-current NFL labor situation, he weighed in on the Carson Palmer situation.

"I have mixed feelings on that, but I know Carson probably hasn't been healthy for the past three years, so I understand his frustrations in wanting to get the organization to get guys to protect him better."

This is intriguing as it makes one wonder which side Munoz is on -- Carson's or the Brown family's. One would think that he'd side with Palmer because he has been around the Bengals long enough to see all of its downfalls and shortcomings first-hand. He also made the Hall of Fame blocking for two great Bengals quarterbacks, so he'd innately have have the back on another Bengals "franchise quarterback". Let's also not forget that Palmer was one of the most successful quarterbacks to come out of University of Southern California -- the same University that Munoz himself graduated from roughly 30 years ago.

But, Munoz still does the color analysis for the Bengals TV broadcasts and has remained a loyal and quiet former Bengal amongst many others who openly question the Brown family. So, maybe being of the "Old School", Munoz thinks Palmer should shut up and play. 

Or, maybe it's a little bit of both. Regardless, it's nice to see the most legendary Bengal doing some good in the community and giving this team some good publicity as he always seems to.