The Cincinnati Bengals have released the next 10 players in the Bengals First 50 countdown, which honors the greatest retired players in franchise history, as voted on by the fans and media.
Coming in at No. 30-21 were defensive back and return man Tommy Casanova, wide receiver Eddie Brown, defensive back Louis Breeden, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, wide receiver Carl Pickens, wide receiver and punter Pat McInally, fullback Ickey Woods, tight end Rodney Holman, tight end Dan Ross, and running back Rudi Johnson.
This was the first reveal that was offensive-heavy, as eight players with some experience on that side of the ball made this portion of the countdown. That includes a rare two-way player in Pat McInally, who was a great punter that also got some run at wide receiver. He caught 32 passes during his first two seasons before spending most of his time at punter for the remainder of his career.
Speaking of special teams, Tommy Casanova is arguably the best defensive back/returner in franchise history. He racked up 17 interceptions in 71 career games with the Bengals while also being one of the best punt returners in franchise history.
Sticking to defensive backs, Louis Breeden was one of the best cornerbacks to ever wear a Bengals uniform. He finished his career with 33 interceptions and helped lead the Bengals to Super Bowl Super Bowl XVI. He could have easily been much higher on this countdown.
Go here to watch all of these Bengals in action with analysis by Bengals radio announcers Dan Hoard and Dave Lapham. Here is the full list of the latest players honored with a brief bio, courtesy of the Bengals.
- #30 – Tommy Casanova: Three-time Pro Bowler. Named to NFL All-Rookie team in 1972 and selected by fans as Most Valuable Player. Fifth in team history for punt return yards, with 784 yards on 91 punts.
- #29 – Eddie Brown: Bengals first round draft selection in 1985 and named Offensive Rookie of the Year. Holds team record for average yards per reception in a season (24.02 in 1988). Sixth in team history for career receiving yards (6134). Member of Super Bowl XXIII team. Made Pro Bowl in 1988.
- #28 – Louis Breeden: Member of Super Bowl XVI team. Tied for team record for longest interception return, with a 102-yard touchdown return. Second in team history for career interceptions (33), career interception return yards (558) and interception return yards in a season (145).
- #27 – T.J. Houshmandzadeh: Holds team record for total receptions in a season, with 112 receptions in 2007. Third in team history with 507 total receptions. Led team in catches for three straight years from 2006-08. Made Pro Bowl in 2007.
- #26 – Carl Pickens: Holds team records for most receiving touchdowns in a season (17 in 1995) and most receptions in a game (13 in 1998). First Bengal to reach 500 receptions. Second in team history in receptions (530), career receiving touchdowns (63) and consecutive 100-yard games (four). Made Pro Bowl in 1995 and 1996.
- #25 – Pat McInally: Second in team history for total punts (700) and career punting yards (29,307). Placed 157 punts inside the 20-yard line and averaged 41.87 yards per punt in his career. Made Pro Bowl in 1981.
- #24 – Ickey Woods: Holds team record for rushing touchdowns in a season (15). Rushed for 1066 yards as a rookie, helping to make the Bengals the NFL's number one rushing team in 1988. Member of Super Bowl XXIII team. All-rookie in 1988.
- #23 – Rodney Holman: Three-time Pro Bowler and member of Super Bowl XXIII team. Versatile player who was an excellent blocker and good pass receiver with speed and strength to make big plays.
- #22 – Dan Ross: Instrumental in development of the modern passing game. Scored two touchdowns in Super Bowl XVI. Tied for third for most receptions in a Super Bowl (11 receptions for 104 yards). Made Pro Bowl in 1982. All-rookie in 1979.
- #21 – Rudi Johnson: Holds team records for rushing attempts in a season (361), rushing attempts in a game (43) and rushing yards in a season (1458). Second in team history for career rushing touchdowns (48) and most 100-yard games (19). Made 2004 Pro Bowl.
The only name that seems a little high on this list is Rudi Johnson. While he was a great running back during his time with the Bengals, he only had three seasons in which he ran for more than 1,000 yards, and he needed an average of 346.3 carries in those seasons to get above that mark. There’s no way I’m putting him ahead of Louis Breeden or Carl Pickens, but Rudi certainly deserves to be on this countdown.
Other than that, this portion of the ranking played out nicely. Do you agree with the players who made this part of the countdown and their ranking among the Bengals First 50?