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Bengals-Steelers player, coaching, area and college connections

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From the way Marcus Gilbert talks on Twitter, — "Would love to see them in the playoffs where they choke” -- was one Tweet he sent (and deleted) in regards to the Bengals last year, you wouldn’t know he was actually friends and college teammates with Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap. But sometimes, connections in the NFL are more than meets the eye.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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While you may want to believe the Bengals and Steelers simply don’t like each other, there are many players who are friends with guys on the opposing team and plenty of college connections among the teams. And sometimes, guys on the Steelers just flat out think the Bengals are nice.

Here’s a look at the Bengals and Steelers player, hometown and coaching connections.

Former Steelers who are Bengals and Bengals who are Steelers

  • Pittsburgh LB James Harrison played one season (2013) in Cincinnati.
  • Bengals TE coach Jonathan Hayes played with the Steelers from 1994-1996.

Coaching connections

  • Bengals HC Marvin Lewis served as the Steelers’ LB coach for four seasons (1992-95.
  • Bengals LB coach Jim Haslett was the Steelers’ DC from 1997-99.
  • Steelers STC Danny Smith and Cincinnati QB coach Ken Zampese worked together on the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff for one season (1998).

Area Connections

  • Steelers HC Mike Tomlin was the DB coach at the University of Cincinnati from 1999-2000.
  • Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger, an Ohio native, played his collegiate career at Miami University (Oh.) in Oxford.
  • Steelers FS Mike Mitchell hails from Fort Thomas, Ky (Highlands High School) and played at Ohio University.
  • Steelers LB James Harrison is from Akron, Oh., and attended Kent State University.
  • Pittsburgh FB Roosevelt Nix is from Reynoldsburg Oh., and also played at Kent State University.
  • Bengals HC Marvin Lewis was born in McDonald, Pa., and coached for the University of Pittsburgh from 1990-91.
  • Cincinnati DE Will Clarke is from Pittsburgh.
  • Bengals TE coach Jonathan Hayes was born in South Fayette, Pa.
  • Bengals WR coach James Urban coached at Clarion University from 1997-98.
  • Cincinnati asst. HC/OL coach Paul Alexander was a GA at Penn State from 1983-84.
  • Bengals strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton was a strength and conditioning asst. at Penn State for five years (1987-1991).
  • Bengals rookie WR Tyler Boyd is a graduate of Clairton High School and played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Bengals LB coach Jim Haslett played his college career at Indiana University (Pa.).
  • Haslett also served as a football consultant for Penn State last year.
  • Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell (Reserve/Suspended by Commissioner) is from Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
  • Steelers CB William Gay, OT Byron Stingily, and WR Eli Rogers played at Louisville.

NFL Connections

  • Steelers OC Todd Haley was on staff in Arizona from 2007- 08 when Bengals LB Karlos Dansby was a linebacker for the Cardinals.
  • Pittsburgh RB coach James Saxon coached in Miami at the same time Dansby was on Dolphins’ active roster, as well (2010).
  • Steelers CB Justin Gilbert played on the same side of the ball as Dansby in Cleveland for two seasons (2014-15).
  • Pittsburgh ILB coach Jerry Olsavsky played for Baltimore when Bengals STC Darrin Simmons was on the Ravens’ staff in 1998.
  • Pittsburgh OL coach Mike Munchak coached Bengals CB Adam Jones for two seasons (2005-06) with the Titans.
  • Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams shared a locker room with Bengals WR Brandon LaFell in Carolina for four years (2010-13).
  • Pittsburgh OT Ryan Harris played in Denver from 2007-08 when Cincinnati DL coach Jacob Burney was on staff.

College Connections

  • Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert was teammates with Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap (2007-09) at Florida.
  • Pittsburgh G David DeCastro was teammates with Cincinnati HB Ryan Hewitt for three seasons (2009- 11) at Stanford.
  • Steelers LB Jarvis Jones was a Georgia Bulldog with Bengals DT Geno Atkins (2009), WR A.J. Green (2009- 10) and S Shawn Williams (2009-12).
  • Pittsburgh WR Sammie Coates played at Auburn with Cincinnati TE C.J. Uzomah (2011-14).
  • Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt was teammates with Bengals TE Tyler Eifert at Notre Dame from 2011-12.