The Bengals vs Browns rivalry goes deep, and even when one or both of them teams have been bad, it’s always been a competitive and deep-rooted matchup. That’s what happens when two teams have the same first head coach of the franchise and when the man who one franchise was named for (Paul Brown and the Browns) founds another franchise (the Bengals). But now, the deep rooted connections between the two Ohio teams have grown even further as former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is in his first year as the Browns head coach. On top of that, Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton was a second round pick by the Bengals in 1983 and was part of the team’s first Super Bowl appearance. Horton went on to become a Bengals coach for five years. The Browns also boast a few former Bengals, and the Bengals a former Brown. It’s safe to say, these two teams are closely intertwined. Let’s take a look at some of the many coaching and player connections.
- Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown was the Browns’ first head coach and general manager. He coached the Browns from 1946- 62. Brown helped Cleveland capture four AAFC championships (1946-49) and three NFL titles (1950, 1954-55). He registered a 111-44-5 record in the NFL with the Browns. He later founded the Cincinnati Bengals and became their first head coach and general manager. Brown coached the Bengals from 1968-75 and recorded a 55-56-1 record.
- Browns head coach Hue Jackson spent seven seasons (2004-06 and 2012-15) coaching in Cincinnati during two stints. Most recently, he was the Bengals offensive coordinator from 2014-15. He helped the Bengals to two division titles and a trip to the postseason each of his last four years. Before that, he was the wide receivers coach (2004-2006), secondary assistant and special teams coach (2012) and running backs coach (2013).
- Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton was a second-round pick by the Bengals in 1983. He played in 89 regular-season games as a defensive back with Cincinnati and recorded 11 interceptions. He also helped the Bengals advance to Super Bowl XXIII. Horton later served as the Bengals defensive backs coach (1997-00) and safeties coach (2001).
- Browns defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi spent 14 seasons (1997-10) working with the Bengals defensive backs.
- Browns tight ends coach Greg Seamon spent 13 seasons (2003-15) with the Bengals, primarily as a scout.
- Browns sports scientist Jamey Mroz served as a strength and conditioning coaching assistant with the Bengals in 2015.
- Bengals DL coach Jacob Burney spent two seasons (1996-98) on the Browns coaching staff.
Browns who were Bengals
- Browns WR Andrew Hawkins was acquired by Cleveland as a restricted free agent in 2014 after three seasons with the Bengals. Hawkins appeared in 35 games with Cincinnati, totaling 86 receptions for 995 yards with four touchdowns.
- Browns WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. spent time with the Bengals in 2015. Pryor was a quarterback at the time and the idea of switching to wide receiver was presented to him in Cincinnati, but, he was adamant that he was only interested in being a quarterback.
“It was suggested by the owner (Mike Brown) and I think Hue (Jackson) brought it up to him, but he was not ready to do it at that point,” Marvin Lewis said this week of Pryor’s switch to wide receiver. “He wanted to be a quarterback. That is what he told me when he came here and even when we decided that we were just going to bring three quarterbacks to training camp. It was not anything that Terrelle did negatively... When he left here, I think he visited New England, and then it was not until after that that he decided, ‘Hey, I will do this.’ You have to credit him for committing to it and getting it done, and he has really done it great.”
- Bengals HB Cedric Peerman was briefly with the Browns in 2009 but did not play.
- Browns OL Dan France was with the Bengals from 2014-15 on the practice squad.
- Browns RB Terrell Watson was with the Bengals in 2015 on the practice squad.
Bengals who were Browns
- Bengals LB Karlos Dansby played for the Browns from 2014- 15 and was released by Cleveland during the offseason.