Among the off-the-field connections between the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers, one interesting one is that Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen were college roommates at Cal and Jones considers Allen to be his like his little brother. At the 2014 ESPYs, Jones said he took Allen under his wing when he came to Cal and that he's a special talent and great guy.
Allen considered Jones a mentor at Cal. "[Jones] is like a big brother to me," Allen said in a 2010 interview. "Whenever I need help on routes, he helps me with knowing what to do. He's my roommate [for camp]. He leaves early, and tells me to get up [before the alarm clock]. He's a leader."
Another interesting connection between the teams is that Chargers defensive quality control coach Chris Shula is the son of former Bengals head coach Dave Shula. Here are more of the connections between the two teams
Bengals with California area connections
- Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict is from Corona, California.
- Bengals CB Leon Hall is from Vista, California and went to Vista High School.
- Bengals LB Rey Maualuga played at University of Southern California.
- Bengals WR Marvin Jones is from Fontana, California and played at California.
- Bengals LB Chris Carter is from Fontana, California and played at Fresno State.
- Bengals cornerback Josh Shaw is from Palmdale, California and played at University of Southern California.
- Bengals safety Derron Smith is from Banning, California and played at Fresno State.
Chargers with Cincinnati area connections
- Chargers LS Mike Windt is from Cincinnati (Elder HS) and played at the University of Cincinnati.
- Chargers WR Stevie Johnson played at Kentucky.
- Chargers OT Tyreek Burwell and DE Ricardo Matthews played at the University of Cincinnati.
- Chargers TE Kyle Miller is from Bowling Green, Ohio and played at Mount Union.
- Chargers TE Alex Bayer is from Pickerington, Ohio and played at Bowling Green
Chargers who were Bengals
- Chargers LS Mike Windt entered the NFL as a college free agent with the Bengals in the 2010 preseason.
- Chargers C Trevor Robinson played for the Bengals in 2012-13.
- Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was linebackers coach at Long Beach State from 1985-86.
- Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese is from Santa Maria, California and played from 1985-88 and coached in 1989 at the University of San Diego. He also coached at the University of Southern California from 1990-91. Zampese is also the son of former Chargers assistant coach Ernie Zampese.
- Chargers quarterbacks coach Nick Siriani won three NCAA Division III National Championships (2000-02) as a wide receiver at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Sirianni also spent one season (2005) playing in the Atlantic Indoor Football League with the Canton (Ohio) Legends.
- Bengals defensive backs coach Mark Carrier played for the University of Southern California from 1987-89.
- Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is from Los Angeles, coached at Cal State-Fullerton from 1990-91 and coached at the University of Southern California from 1997-2000.
- Chargers assistant offensive line coach Andrew Dees signed with the Bengals as a college free agent in 1992 but did not play in the regular season.
- Bengals strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton was on the Chargers coaching staff from 1992- 94.
- Chargers assistant special teams coach Craig Aukerman is from McComb, Ohio, played and coached the University of Findlay (Ohio), and coached at Miami (Ohio) from 2001-02 and '05-08, and coached at Western Kentucky from 2003-04.
- Chargers QB coach Nick Sarianni played and coached at Mount Union.
- Chargers assistant LBs coach Bobby King is from Louisville, Kentucky.
- Chargers defensive quality control coach Chris Shula is the son of former Bengals head coach Dave Shula, and Chris played at Miami (Ohio).
- Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco was a collegiate wide receiver at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.