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After departing from his long tenure and founding of the Cleveland Browns, Paul Brown started an AFL expansion team, the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968. In this first Bengals season, Paul Brown would put together a staff that included a young offensive assistant coach by the name of Bill Walsh. Bill Walsh was an early product of the Sid Gillman/Al Davis coaching tree, having worked on the Oakland Raiders coaching staff two years prior.

After the 1968 veteran expansion draft and the common draft, the new Ohio team still lacked talent similar to competing teams. The new roster included 3 QBs who would split time, John Stofa (Technically the first ever Cincinnati Bengal. he was acquired in a trade from the Miami Dolphins.), Dewey Warren, and Sam Wyche. Coming from the Sid Gillman tree, Bill Walsh ran a variant of a vertical pass offense, but all 3 QBs on the team were not great fits for this style of offense. At the time, football was still very run-heavy, so finding a strong-arm QB who was ideal for a vertical passing system was rare. The Bengals would go on to have back-to-back losing seasons in their first two years of operation, only winning a combined 7 games and losing a combined 20. …


Benjamin D. Horne

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