One of the Bengals' all-time leading receivers is re-joining the team in a coaching role this year.
Former wide receiver T.J. Houshmanzadeh is among four intern coaches joining Cincinnati this offseason via the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship. Houshmandzadeh played for the Bengals from 2001-2008 and ranks third on the club's all-time receptions list (507). He ranks seventh in receiving yards (5782) and fifth in receiving TDs (37). He holds the Bengals record for receptions in a season (112 in 2007), and he went to the Pro Bowl that same year.
Other coaches in the 2015 program:
* Chuck Smith, former standout NFL defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers (58.5 career sacks). Smith has coached in college at the University of Tennessee and has worked extensively as a personal trainer for NFL players. He worked Bengals OTAs this year from May 25 through June 4.
* Keith Rucker, a six-year defensive tackle in the NFL, including two seasons with Cincinnati (1994-1995). Rucker is currently defensive line coach at Ohio Wesleyan University. He will work during Bengals training camp in late July and early August.
* Kelvin Bell, director of on-campus recruiting for the University of Iowa football program. Bell played at Iowa and has served as a graduate assistant coach for the Hawkeyes. He will work during Bengals training camp in late July and early August.
Three current Bengals coaches – head coach Marvin Lewis, defensive line coach Jay Hayes and offensive assistant Brian Braswell all served as interns in the program before making it as coaches in the NFL.
"As always, we are happy to have these guys with us in the Bill Walsh program," said Lewis, who worked in the program with the Steelers prior to entering the NFL as an assistant in 1992. "This program helped me get ahead as a coach, and it’s great to see it continue as strong as it is. It’s a good experience for our full-time coaches as well as the interns."
The Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship was established in 1987 to provide NFL training camp positions to minority coaches each year. The program exposes talented minority college coaches to the methods and philosophies of summer training camps. Walsh introduced the idea to the NFL in 1987 when he brought a group of minority coaches into his San Francisco 49ers’ training camp. The program has tutored more than 1,600 minority coaches since its inception and has grown to the point that now every NFL team participates during training camp.