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D.J. Reader helped recruit new DL coach Marion Hobby to Cincinnati

Reader used his Clemson connections to help bring Hobby to the Bengals’ coaching staff.

Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

There will be a reunion in the Cincinnati Bengals defensive line room next season as defensive tackle D.J. Reader will get a second chance to work with Marion Hobby, Cincinnati‘s newly hired defensive line coach.

From 2011-16, Hobby worked under Dabo Swinney as the Clemson Tigers’ co-defensive coordinator/defensive ends coach. There, he coached Reader from 2012-15 and he even attempted recruiting Reader to Duke out of high school while serving as the Blue Devils defensive line coach.

Hobby confirmed Reader played a role in bringing him to the Queen City in an interview with Bengals.com.

“I asked him straight up. You know me well. Do you think this is a good fit for me?” Hobby asked Reader. “He gave me confirmation it was.”

Reader, who was also interviewed, talked glowingly of Hobby, saying, “Super happy. Super happy. Really, really good guy. Good coach. He coached me all four years (at Clemson). Kind of crazy. I’ve known him since I was a young kid … [He] coaches hard. Guys come to work. His family is a priority. A real solid dude. He’s a tough coach. He’s funny. You have to come to work and go hard, but he’s also got some fun to him. He’s a very cool dude. He’s interesting. I’m a big fan of Hobby.”

The Bengals hired Hobby on Saturday just a week after the Miami Dolphins decided to part ways with him. Hobby was Miami’s defensive line coach from 2019-2020 and held the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2017-2018. His work at Clemson allowed him to re-enter the NFL ranks for the first time since his gig as the New Orleans Saints defensive ends coach from 2006-2007.

Hobby will be tasked with fixing Cincinnati’s defensive line that helped allowed the fourth-most rushing yards (2,368) and finished with the least amount of sacks (17) in the NFL.

Reader, who signed a four-year, $53 million deal with the Bengals last season, will be Hobby’s centerpiece in fixing those issues. The 26-year old missed most of last season with a quad injury, and now his comeback year can happen under a coach he’s known for nearly half of his life.