There always seems to be a lot of local connections between the Cincinnati Bengals and their opponent. This is no surprise considering that Ohio is the very definition of a football state.
I’m not sure if you could find one team in the NFL that doesn’t at least have one coach or player from Ohio. This, of course, is the case with the Bills, as they have multiple players and coaches from the Cincinnati area. However, the most notable connection between the Bills and the Bengals is with WR/Kickoff return specialist Brandon Tate.
Tate played for the Bengals from 2011-15. He was used mostly as a kickoff and punt returner, only being used as a wide receiver in a reserve role. Tate wasn’t exactly a fan favorite during his time with the Bengals. He didn’t do anything wrong, but he lacked the explosive play making ability that fans crave in their kick returners. However, I always felt that Tate wasn’t appreciated enough during his Bengals tenure.
During the entire time, Tate was with the team. The Bengals had a top-level defense and a strong offense. Tate may not have broken big returns very often, but he was reliable. He rarely turned the ball over, and typically made smart decisions as a return man. When the offense and defense are strong, Tate is the kind of guy you want back there returning kicks.
Also, if the Bengals ever needed a big play, they would typically put Adam Jones in the field the returns. Tate is still his old reliable self, but with the Buffalo Bills now.
Another connection of note between the Bills and Bengals is with the Vigil brothers. Nick’s brother, Zach is a member of the practice squad for the Bills. The two brothers used to play in the same linebacking core in college at Utah State.
Although Zach is only on the practice squad with the Bills, I’m sure their parents will still be slightly conflicted on what team to cheer for. Let’s take a look at the rest of the player and coaching connections between the Bills and the Bengals.
- Bills DT Adolphus Washington is from Cincinnati (Taft High School) and played at Ohio State University.
- Bills LB Preston Brown is from Cincinnati (Northwest High School) and played for the University of Louisville.
- Bills C Eric Wood is from Cincinnati (Elder High School) and played at the University of Louisville.
- Bengals LB Nick Vigil and Bills LB (practice squad) are brothers.
- Bills DE is from Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne High School).
- Bills S is from Fostoria, Ohio (Fostoria High School).
- Bills G John Miller played at the University of Louisville.
- Bills TE Keith Towbridge (injured reserve) is from Toledo, Ohio (Toledo Central Catholic high School) and played at the University of Louisville.
- Bengals TE Mason Schreck played at the University of Buffalo.
- Bengals LB coach Jim Haslett played (1979-86) and coached (1988-90) for the Bills.
- Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier coached for the Bengals from 2003-04.
- Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander is from Rochester, New York and played at Cortland State University from 1979-81.
- Bengals secondaries coach Kevin Coyle coached at Syracuse University from 1991-93.
- Bengals offensive coordinator played (1990-93) and coached (1994-2000) at Cornell University. He also coached at the University of Buffalo from 2001-02.
- Bengals offensive assistant/wide receivers coach is from Cortland, New York and played (2008-11) and coached (2012) at Cortland State University.
- Bills LB coach Bob Babich coached at Bowling Green State University in 1991.