We're now 34 days away from the Bengals' regular-season opener in Oakland.
That means it's time for a look at former players to wear the No. 34 in Cincinnati:
|James Wilder Jr.||2014-Present|
The Early Days
The first player to wear the No. 34 in Cincinnati for multiple season was running back Neal Craig. Drafted out of Fisk College in the seventh round (171st overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft, Craig would play in 79 career games (68 starts) with the Bengals, Browns and Bills during a six-season span while grabbing eight interceptions. He spent three years with Cincinnati as their starting strong safety, but did play both safety spots over his career.
The greatest Bengals player to wear the No. 34 in Cincinnati was one of the best to ever done Bengal stripes. That was cornerback Louis Breeden, who the team drafted out of North Carolina Central in the seventh round (187th overall) of the 1977 draft.
Breeden would go to play in 134 career games (115 starts) across 10 NFL seasons while grabbing 33 interceptions. To this day, those 33 picks rank second in Bengals franchise history. He was a lock-down corner who was named to the 1982 NFL All-Pro Team.
Kevin Kaesviharn is one of the more notable former Bengals to wear the No. 34 in Cincinnati. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Augustana College in 2001, Kaesviharn was the Swiss army knife of the Bengals' defense for his six years in Cincinnati. He played both safety spots in addition to cornerback while racking up 286 tackles, 15 interceptions and 45 pass deflections during his Bengal career.
James Wilder Jr. will be fighting for a spot on the Bengals' roster this year after spending the 2014 season on the practice squad. The running back out of Florida State had been taking some reps at fullback during OTAs as the Bengals look to find a fit for him on the team, but as of now, he faces an uphill battle to make the 53 man roster in September.