The Cincinnati Bengals have revealed the next 10 players among the Bengals First 50 countdown, which honors the best retired players in the team’s history, as voted on by the fans and media.
Coming in at No. 40-31 are defensive back Solomon Wilcots, defensive tackle Mike Reid, offensive center Rich Braham, defensive end Eddie Edwards, offensive tackle Joe Walter, offensive lineman Bruce Kozerski, defensive end Coy Bacon, linebacker Jim LeClair, linebacker Bill Bergey and running back Pete Johnson.
This group is defensive-heavy with six players on that side of the ball. That includes former safety and current NFL Network analyst and CBS broadcaster Solomon Wilcots. He’s easily one of the best defensive backs to ever play in Cincinnati. It’s been great to see him remain involved in football as an analyst and commentator.
Offensive linemen were also featured in this group, highlighted by long-time center Rich Braham. He anchored the Bengals’ offensive line for many years at a high level, something no one has come close to emulating him since he retired.
As a whole, the trenches were featured heavily in this group as six players along the offensive or defensive line were involved. The highest was defensive end Coy Bacon, one of the greatest pass-rushers in Bengals history. However, Bacon played during an era when sacks were not an official statistic, so it’s hard to accurately gauge the level of impact he had on the NFL, though the Bengals know he made a tremendous impact for them.
Click here to watch all of these Bengals in action with analysis by Dan Hoard and Dave Lapham. Here is the full list of the latest players honored and a brief bio on all of them, courtesy of the Bengals.
- #40 – Solomon Wilcots: Member of Super Bowl XXIII team. Finished third in tackles in 1988. Top-flight special teams player who tied for team lead in special teams tackles in 1989.
- #39 – Mike Reid: Bengals first round draft selection in 1970. Named top defensive rookie in pro football by several publications. Recorded five sacks in a game in 1972. Made Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1973.
- #38 – Rich Braham: One of only seven players to log 13 or more seasons with the Bengals. Played in 146 Bengals games, with 142 starts. Recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2001, given to players who best demonstrate commitment to values of sportsmanship and courage.
- #37 – Eddie Edwards: Bengals first round draft selection in 1977. Member of Super Bowl XVI and XXIII teams. Holds team record for career sacks, with 83.5 sacks. Tied for team record for most sacks in a game, with five against Cleveland in 1980. Had a career-best 13 sacks in 1983. Ranks tenth in team history for games played (170).
- #36 – Joe Walter: Tied for most seasons played by an offensive lineman (13). Ranks fifth in games played by an offensive lineman (166). Recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 1990, given to players who best demonstrate commitment to values of sportsmanship and courage.
- #35 – Bruce Kozerski: Versatile player who started at all five offensive line positions. Center on the 1988 team that went to the Super Bowl. His 172 games ranks third in team history among offensive linemen.
- #34 – Coy Bacon: Holds team record for sacks in a season, with 22 sacks in 1976. Made Pro Bowl in 1976 and 1977. One of five defensive linemen in team history to go to back-to-back Pro Bowls.
- #33 – Jim LeClair: Long-time defensive captain known for being a hard-hitter. Led team in tackles five times (1976, '78-81). Made Pro Bowl in 1976.
- #32 – Bill Bergey: AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969. Led team in tackles in 1969, 1970 and 1971. Voted most valuable player by fans in 1970.
- #31 – Pete Johnson: Holds team record for career rushing touchdowns (64). Fourth in team history for career rushing yards (5421). Led team in rushing seven times. Member of Super Bowl XVI team. Made Pro Bowl in 1981.
Do you agree with these players and their spot on this ranking?