As the Cincinnati Bengals have their sights set on Super Bowl LVI, former players have been noticeable in their support of the franchise. Such is the same for former Bengal Reggie Williams and his unique attachment to one of the more important players in the current postseason run.
Williams, who checks in at second in all-time games played with the Bengals at 206, had a chance to have his No. 57 jersey hung up for good. The only linebacker to play for Cincinnati in both Super Bowl appearances has taken a special interest in the play of linebacker Germaine Pratt.
Pratt is currently sporting the same No. 57 that Williams wore, and it reminds him of why he made a decision years ago. In a recent article on Bengals.com, Williams recalls exactly why he didn’t want his jersey retired.
“I like seeing my number still making plays,” Williams says these days from his Florida home. “It was such a big moment for the whole defense, the whole city, for Who Dey Nation. He’s a thinking man’s linebacker, like I had to be.”
Williams’ last year with the Bengals was in 1989, and 33 years later, he still gets to watch his number make plays.
He also goes on to discuss not only his admiration of Pratt, but that of second-year linebacker Logan Wilson. Actually, he seems some similarities in the current duo and one that he was half of in the 1980s.
“Their relationship reminds me of what I had with Jim LeClair when we went to the first Super Bowl,” Williams says. “This defense is kind of doing what we did (in 1988). Turnovers and we made big plays when we turned it over.”
As this magical season rides into the biggest game for the Bengals in three-plus decades, it has uncovered many awesome ways for the younger fans to learn about the previous Bengal greats.
The Bengal linebackers have forced two turnovers in as many games (including the game-sealing interceptions against Las Vegas), and if they come up big again Sunday, Williams just may see his old number on the biggest stage once again.