Interview with Larry Stevens: Former Michigan Wolverine and Cincinnati Bengal

Interview with Larry Stevens: Former Michigan Wolverine and Cincinnati Bengal
14 Jan
Not in Hall of Fame
I have had the pleasure of interviewing many athletes but I laughed more speaking with former Cincinnati Bengal and University of Michigan Defensive End, Larry Stevens than I have with all the other people I have spoke too combined.

It was one of those experiences where when I was transcribing the interview, where exclamation points just don’t do it justice.  I had never interviewed anyone before who had more energy, and who put more entertainment in a story than Larry had, and I immediately wished that I had my podcast set up.[i]  Print simply doesn’t so this man justice.

Larry Stevens was one of the most highly recruited football prospects ever from the state of Washington and would sign with the University of Michigan, one of the most storied programs in all of College Football and one that sent shockwaves across the Pacific Northwest.[ii]  He would have a very good career at Michigan, this despite the unexpected shift from offense to defence, and he would go on to play two seasons with Cincinnati Bengals primarily on special teams, a career that would have lasted longer had it not been for a career ending injury in 2007.

Although I already knew from my research that Larry Stevens already knew how to monetize his past exploits on the gridiron, I did not realize the multi-layered way in which he went about accomplishing that task, and continuing to do so, and not just for himself, but also for his peers.

         Our conversation, and while I again state was easily the most fun I have ever conducted, we also talked about a lot of very serious topics of the game of football, and the business behind it on every level.  We talked about what it meant to be a Michigan Wolverine, what it means to be a professional athlete and the sacrifices that came with it.

         I hope you enjoy reading the story of Larry Stevens, of which there is no doubt in my mind has a lot more interesting chapters to be written.

         When looking at your LinkedIn profile the first thing I remember thinking is what doesn’t this man do?  You seem to have so many things professionally going on in your life, and it leads me to ask you when during your football career did you start to develop a plan once you knew your athletic career would be over? 

         Were you thinking that when you were with Michigan, or was it before or after?

         “You never really plan for it, especially in the NFL.  You never think of your career being over.  You never know what you’re going to do after Football.  It just sneaks up on you.  It is different when all you know is Football.  Nowadays it is different when they are preparing us, by doing things like classes, but what I did is I built a network in college and that is one of the biggest things that I teach guys today is to do that.

         Outside of that I was able to work with Merrill Lynch and I was able to build sustainable relationships.  How many people are able to say that they played in the NFL?  How many people get the opportunity to do business with ex-players? 

         You know what everyone is banking on?  It’s ignorance.  I don’t say that in a negative way, but people think that if you play Football that those people tell you ‘We’ll take care of your finances, we’ll take care of your margin, we’ll take care of all these aspects of your finances’ and they just want you to worry about Football.

         Some guys, that’s good for them!  But that just further handicaps us players to where we can handle our own endeavours or handle our own affairs, which gives you the experience to handle those markets when you are done playing. 

         Myself, I got injured after playing a couple years but for me I always wanted to be more than a Football Player.  You got to be willing to do something different.  I just built a network, but even back then I never knew what I really wanted to do, but I knew that I was really a very personable person.  I knew that I was great in sales, and that’s just where I took it. 

         I kind of jumped around, but basically I got bored.  I dominated in sales, you know?  I dominated for Under Armour.  I dominated for Enterprise, I dominated for these companies.  I was the number one sales person for each month for these companies.  I doubled the sales each month you know? 

         But you get to the point where you want to make the lifestyle you want or bring it back to where you had the lifestyle you had before; people who say that it is not about the money, they are full of shit you know? 

         That was a big thing for me, as was to own your schedule, you know?  I worked for so many companies and was never satisfied and that was a positive for me because I am always going to be hungry so I channelled that and started my own company. 

         If you look at my timeline, you would see that I worked here for a few years, and here for another, and I was approached for so much.  I had a couple of nightclubs, I owned a fight company on the East Coast, I did all of those things!  I just got bored with it, and not just bored with but I got tired of building other people’s dreams, where you put in sixty or seventy hours a week to build other people’s dreams.

         I couldn’t do that.  I couldn’t live the lifestyle that I wanted to live.  So what do I do?  The same thing that teaches these other players is to find your niche, and to take advantage of the things that you do positive.  What do you do good?  What do you do great?  What can you tell someone else that nobody can tell you how to do better?

         That’s how I started my company, 95 Elite Sports.  When it comes to the structure of an organization, when it comes to Football, when it comes to the NFL, when it comes to building a network, when it comes to putting people in the right places, when it comes to experience in recruiting the AAU style; everything we are doing is based on what I know how to do best.[iii]

         Can you tell me more about 95 Elite Sports?

         “95 Elite Sports is a company that I founded and I did so because I want to help youths.  It’s not just football, but youth sports.  I am building an athlete resource center in Ohio and I want to expand into other states.  What that is going to do is provide academic training, test preparation, skills development, speed schools, coaching clinics, scouting clinics, but most importantly I have a contract with the NFL and the National Youth Football League where 95 Elite Sports is a governed body over the state of Ohio with National Youth Football.

         What I do is hold competitive seven on seven competitive tournaments through the whole state of Ohio.  I have ten different territories set up and they compete for a championship.  There are sixth graders, seventh graders, eighth graders, ninth graders, tenth graders playing on a national level going against other champions from other states like Texas.  They get to play at Texas Stadium or Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. 

It’s a trial AAU thing and it’s a pretty big deal.  A lot of revenue, a lot of exposure, a lot of market and it’s backed by the NFL.  It’s a great deal.  I locked that contract down and that’s what prompted me to start my company.  I already had that in place and there were already other intangibles in place and it just gave me a shot to do it.

This has always been my dream but I never had the time to do it really.  I had always been working for someone else or I just didn’t have the time.  Now, I took a risk, I took a step out and I got the right people in place.  I have people in the NFL, NFL scouts, college coaches, I have everybody on board and they want to be a part of the big picture that we have.”

That sounds incredible!  I also noticed that you are the chapter president of the Athlete Chamber of Commerce.  I didn’t even know that existed!

“Absolutely.  That’s great too.  This is the same premise of what we were talking before.  When you talk about how you can you get in touch with an athlete, and how hard is that to do.  Nowadays it is a lot easier with technology, you can talk to people on Twitter and yeah, you can get a professional athlete to say hello, but how can you get a professional athlete to the table?  How can you present your investment, your strategy to an athlete?  You can’t do it. 

The Pro Athlete Chamber of Commerce, what we do is provide a forum for the non-athletes to get together with the pro athletes.  We have over a thousand athletes from the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, you name it, and these are athletes that are looking to engage partnerships.  They are looking for investments, opportunities or projects. 

What we want to do for them (the athletes), and we get inquiries all the time for different things, and we are there to streamline the process and make sure that everybody is who they say they are.  We are like the law.  We have the resources, we have the information and as long as they are who they say they are, we can bring these parties together. 

I also work with another company called Pro2u, which does a lot of the same thing.[iv]  We have a huge database and access to a lot of these athletes, and there are lot of people who are looking to do business with or meet these players and we have a forum for them to do that.  Not everybody can do that, because they don’t have the network to do that.  I worked hard for these relationships.”

I totally understand and am a huge advocate of relationship building and I come from a lengthy sales career myself, and I totally respect working hard so that you can work for yourself.  For me writing is my passion, and now that I can do that for a living, it is like a dream come true.

“I write a lot too actually.”


“Oh yeah, where do I start.  I wrote for the NFL Players Association, I wrote all of their website content.  I wrote articles, I wrote interviews, I did all that stuff.

I wrote also for Huddlepass, which is a forum for College Football and I write columns and do podcasts.[v]  They are very opinionated and they should be.  People pay me for my opinion.  I get thirty minutes, forty minutes to talk about what I want to talk about.”

There is something I have to ask you, if I can switch it back to Football.


How does a kid from Tacoma, Washington, grow up being a Michigan fan, and how does a former Cincinnati Bengal love the Dallas Cowboys?  I have to ask, how does that happen?

“My Facebook is filled with hate!  People say I should be a Seahawks fan, and they don’t understand how I can be a Cowboys fan!  It is all a long story and it had to do with illegal recruiting, and this is something that I haven’t really talked about much in the press or anything like that.

You know there were a lot of things going on and being the number one player in the region out of high school, there were a lot of coaches under a lot of pressure and it became very uncomfortable and I had to pretty much leave the Pac 10 and I didn’t want to deal with it based on things that were happening.[vi]

There were rules being broke that I had nothing to do with that other coaches knew about.  Pac 10 coaches knew what other coaches were doing and there were investigations going on, though they never talked to me.  Nobody ever talked to me about it.  They were just talking to other people because I think people in Stanford or USC called in and reports Rick Neuheisel for illegal recruiting.[vii]  Head Coaches were supposed to come like once a month, and they were coming every week! (Laughs)  He was there every week!  He wasn’t shy about it, but that’s how it was.

I grew up a Michigan fan though as a kid, but that didn’t mean that I was necessarily going to go to Michigan.  I had maybe seventy scholarship offers for Football and fifteen for Basketball and I could have went anywhere. 

After the things that happened in the Pac 10, I just got freaked out and decided that I’m not going to deal with this.  I was going to declare early and a lot of that bullshit stops.  The phone calls, the harassment, it was too much.

I had Head Coaches having girls call me, playing games you know?  Random numbers where they would call, and it would be a Head Coach saying, ‘Gotcha’ (Laughs), you know!   They would drive by my house, leaving notes, you wouldn’t believe!  I kept thinking, are these guys serious?  It was out of control!”

Actually, that sounds amazing because I would beg for dates in High School!

“(Laughs).  Heh, that’s why I went to Michigan!  With all that crap going on, I just had to get away.  I’ve never really told that story but whatever!  (Laughs)”

You got to be a part of one of the most storied rivalries in sports, the Michigan/Ohio State series. 

“Yes and I hate Ohio State with a passion, and I live in Ohio too.  You can’t be in Columbus and say you’re from Michigan. You don’t get no girls dude!  (Laughs)  I don’t care how good looking you are, how much money you got, if you’re from Michigan, you’re not worth shit!”

I believe in your senior year, Michigan finished fourth in the national rankings, and you played in the Rose Bowl twice.  Was that a surreal experience for you?

Growing up in Washington in the neighbourhood where we grew up that stuff wasn’t a reality, you know what I mean?  I never expected to play (pro) or go to college.  I never grew up watching the Pac 10, I never really watched football like that so I never really understood the significance of the Rose Bowl.  I mean knew about the Rose Bowl, but I never really cared about the Rose Bowl until I went to Michigan.

Michigan was like a whole different experience.  The leadership there, the people who were there for years, they taught you what it meant to win for Michigan.  They taught you what it meant to represent the name on the back of your jersey.  They taught you what it meant to play for the people who were there before you. 

You actually physically carried that burden.  To actually go into and play in the Rose Bowl, that was something that all those greats would come back for.  Greats like Bo Schembechler, I met all of those guys.[viii]  My father in law was with them from 1975 to 1980 and went to all kinds of Rose Bowls.[ix]  We could win every game on the schedule, but if you didn’t beat Ohio State or go to the Rose Bowl, you didn’t accomplish anything.  The whole season was lost.

So for me to actually play at the Rose Bowl it was unreal.  It was unreal to be a part of that legacy, it was unreal to be a part of that team, and it was unreal to be a part of the 100th game against Ohio State and we beat them, because there is no such thing as going to the Rose Bowl without beating Ohio State.[x]

To get into that stadium and look around that stadium and to be told your entire career that this is where you were supposed to be and to finally get there, we felt that we had arrived. 

Was it a better feeling to play in from of 100,000 in Michigan than it was in the NFL?[xi]

“Absolutely!  Here’s the thing.  When we would play at Michigan I never played if front of under 109,000 people.  Never, not one time.  There is something so special at that place.  When you enter Michigan Stadium, and if you’ve never been there before you see this sea of people, and there thousands of people where you can see every face.  You can see every face no matter where they are sitting in the stadium you can see their face. 

It is overwhelming!  The energy, the atmosphere, I can’t even explain it.  It’s a different kind of feeling, and I know that, I’ve played there.  The first four or five plays, you’re out of breath, you’re sweating, there are butterflies in your stomach, you can’t believe the amount of pressure that is on you to do the right thing and to make plays. 

So when other teams come in here, they see something they have never seen before.  They play in front of 60,000 and what the hell is that?[xii]  We have that in our back end zone, you know what I mean?  There was nothing else like it, not even in the NFL.”

Now you went undrafted in 2004 but were signed as a Free Agent by the Cincinnati Bengals.  You were projected as a sixth round pick, but was it much of a difference for you being signed as a Free Agent or being a late pick in the draft? 

My situation was a little different.  Coming out of college, everybody wants to get drafted.  My situation was that I was a tweener.[xiii]  You have to understand this, when I started at Michigan, I had never played defense.  I had never put my hand on the ground, never.  I had never played Linebacker before.  I had never played Defensive End before.  I never did any of that stuff before!

I had to learn a new position every level that I got too.  When I left High School I led the West Coast as a Wide Receiver in Yards, Catches and Touchdowns.  I ever suspected to have to play defense.  My point is (referring to being a tweener) is that I was never built to play that position in the first place.  That’s not what I did. 

Now I managed to dominate at Defensive End (at Michigan); but in the NFL, I was too big to play Linebacker but too small to play Defensive End.  There was no footage of me playing Linebacker, so there was no film showing if I could do it. 

I did a couple of combines, but in my senior year a tore some ligaments in my knee and it didn’t allow m to perform the way I wanted to at the combine.  Then I got into a fight in college; there were tons of reasons I didn’t get drafted.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t going to get an opportunity to play in the NFL, I would, but the truth of the matter is there are so many guys in the NFL and only a few are household names and only a small percentage that play more than three years.

Everybody signs two year deals, three year deals and a lot of those guys who get drafted, after their contract is over they are lost and they are out of the league.  The guys who are contributing to their team’s success are the guys drafted after the third or fourth round or free agent pickups.  These are the role players, these are the guys who are holding your team together. 

I didn’t get drafted and I worried about that, of course I did.  It meant that I work two or three times harder than this asshole over here, you know what mean, and a lot of those times they never got on the field!

I made league minimum, but I made more with performances bonuses, like 80,000-90,000 dollars cause I was in fifty plays a game; whether it was fifteen plays on defence, but I played ever Special Teams play.  These rookies, these guys who were getting drafted only played eight snaps a game, if they even got on the field at all!  With that said, the bonus money was good, but you still had to fight. 

People don’t understand this.  When you have fifty-three man rosters, you got forty-five men who are active during a game; now if a Tackle, a Guard or if someone from your star positions goes down, you have to cut someone from a different position.  It could be a Defensive Back, a Linebacker; you might have eight Linebackers and now you have seven.  Only forty-five of you guys can suit up during a game, so there are guys who have to get cut and not because they are good or bad but because of the needs of the roster. 

The long story short is that you have to work much harder when you are undrafted and you have to fight.  I remember coming down to the Cincinnati Bengals Stadium thinking that I was the last man on the pole, praying that this asshole was going to get up in practice.  When that guy goes down, who are they going to cut first?  ‘Please get up, please get up!!!’  Well, they are going to cut you!  It’s crazy!

I would come down from lunch and Coach Marvin Lewis and my Coach Ricky Hunley and I would look at them training eight guys who were playing your position![xiv]  That’s how cut throat it is.  That is how it is.  They laugh and say they could replace you, but they are serious about it!  They are laughing, but this is my livelihood! 

I tell you, the pressure of being a non-drafted player is unbearable.  I remember going to training camps, and it’s the worst feeling.  They don’t always cut players in the most professional way.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes they let you practice all day, and they already know you’re cut!  You are burned out, you just did 100 reps, practice is over and coach is like ‘give me the playbook’. 

I would go into the dorm at night, wake up in the morning go out and order breakfast and I would come back to an empty room!  They just cut three players!  I didn’t even know!  You would walk with teammates coming through the building and there would be the personnel guys who would sit there looking like a Grinch, like what are you going to do about it?  And what are we going to, we’re scared.  They don’t even look at us for months.  That’s cold.”

Do you still have a relationship with the Bengals?

“I do.  Actually I have connections with their trainers and coaches.  I don’t have a bad relationship with the Bengals at all.  They were good to me, and I understood it was a business.  I understood that it wasn’t personal.  I have made more money and impacted more people off the field than I ever did on it.”

I think that is incredible and this is the type of story that I love talking about.  Unfortunately, people never want to talk about good news, or the players in the NFL and NBA that made it after their career was over.  I interviewed Leonard Marshall recently and loved talking about his successes after the NFL. 

“It’s an easy narrative to tell.  Honestly, there are a lot of players who don’t help it out either.  Hell, we do dumb shit all the time you know what I mean?  (Laughs)  However, when you get to the media they do enjoy talking about the negative.  We are human beings like everybody else.  There are politicians, there are congressmen who do the same shit or even worse, you know?”

Totally.  Just like right now nobody is going to report when I do something stupid on Twitter! 

“Not only that, what the media does not report is what the players do for all these charities and all these donations.  You will never hear about all these great things that these players do!”

You are completely correct.  It is not just athletics, as CNN did not become profitable until the Gulf War.  Basically, bad news sells. 

“Very true.”

It’s what we like to do with heroes, we like to build them up to knock them down.  Be it in music, Hollywood or sports

Yeah, It’s true.  Now let me share this with you.  You go to Indianapolis and the experiences are surreal.  It’s not what you think as a player when you go in there they are paying attention to everything you do off of the field.  It is everything that you do.

For example it felt like a modern day slave trade.  You have to enter the gymnasium in your boxers and there are a hundred coaches with their pens and papers staring at you and you are in a line with guys and are measuring you.  They are measuring inches from your neck to your shoulder and stuff like that.  Every aspect of your body is being measured, and they are talking about certain measurements say this is longer or that is longer and you are wondering ‘what the fuck are these guys talking about?’

That process…it stuck with me.  I wanted to share that with you, it was just so weird.  It was the weirdest thing I went through as a professional.” 

The way you are describing it, it seems so dehumanizing.

“It is completely dehumanizing!”

I can’t even imagine it.  Lloyd Carr was your Head Coach at Michigan.  All I have ever read about Carr has been positive.  Was he as good a coach as I have read?

“I love Lloyd Carr.  Lloyd Carr was a player’s coach most definitely.  He did a lot of things for young players that we really didn’t understand at the time.  The players they got now, and I think they got a lot of good kids, but those who aren’t getting it, those who are smart ass kids, they should go to Noorthwestern!  (Laughs)

He (Carr) took players lie myself from unordinary circumstances and taught us how to be men.  He was literally teaching us how to do that.  It was through literature, poetry anything you could think of.  He would engage in his player’s lives, his door was always open.  I mean that, there was nothing that you couldn’t talk to Lloyd about.  The players loved Lloyd.  You can’t tell us anything bad about Lloyd because we know what he did for us.

We didn’t have fathers, we were raised on the street and he turned us into men.  He turned us into Michigan men.  That’s why we bled blue so heavy.  They took us from nothing and turned us into men.  That’s why the Michigan bond is so strong. 

People ask what are you talking about?  You had books at your school, you had resources, you had your mom and dad.  When I went to school I didn’t have any of that.  I didn’t have anybody.  I left to go 2,000 miles away and I didn’t know anybody.  They had to make me feel pretty damn comfortable, especially for someone who never left the city (of Tacoma).”

No doubt.  I imagine that first Michigan winter must have been fun. 

“They lied to me man!  Here’s the thing.  I love Michigan to death, but they told me that it was going to snow in January.  I’m from the West Coast, we don’t deal with that!  Well, it snowed the first week in October. (Laughs)  I’m freaking out!  Not just snow, I‘m talking Canadian snow!  I couldn’t get used to it.  I didn’t go to class.  I’d look out the window and see that and would go right back to sleep. (Laughs)

You wouldn’t want to visit me right now!

“(Laughs) People told me all the time that ‘you must be used to it’, and no I don’t get used to that.  Haven’t you noticed that black people don’t like the winter?  Didn’t you get the memo? (Laughs)”

My best friend is Jamaican, he is still not used to it!

“Another thing though with Michigan was that I didn’t know I was going to play defense.  That is one grudge that I hold against Michigan.  It changed my whole career you know what I mean?   It changed everything. 

I had offers to go anywhere in the country to play at the position that I wanted to play and I wasn’t told (by Michigan) that I was going to play Defensive End or Linebacker or whatever the hell they decided to put me at.  I never would have went there if I would have known that. 

That must have killed you inside.

“That was where the heartbreak begins.  I led the West Coast in yards, catches and touchdowns and I was better than anyone around me at catching the ball.  I really felt that way.  In my first day I ran three routes and all of the sudden they tell me to come over here.  Come over here?  Why am I coming over here?  All the other receivers are right here! 

They didn’t even move me to Tight End, they moved me to the defensive side of the ball.  It pissed me off and I am still outraged to this day about it.  I am still outraged.  It changed my whole life.  I was a touchdown, end zone, entertainment highlight; I was the show.  I was always the show.  I would score four touchdowns a game, I would dance and to not be able to do that anymore it minimized me.  It put me in deep depressions for years.”

I think we got robbed of seeing some innovative Larry Stevens touchdown dances!

“(Laughs).  I used to do stuff all the time!  If you look at the history of our state I was in the newspaper every day.  You would always see my picture, and I would talk crap all the time.  I would talk to crap to everybody and back it up every single time.  I would be at the line of scrimmage at a game and I would talk to the three corners they put on me.  Did you ever see three guys cover a Wide Receiver? (laughs)  But I would still burn them! 

Talking crap wasn’t about making an opponent feeling belittled, which would happen, but that wasn’t the reason I did it.  I talked crap because it forced me to play at a high level.  It forced me to back up everything that I said.  I am a back against the wall kind of guy, that’s the kind of guy that I am.”

I totally understand that.  If you are going set goals and dream anyway, they might as well be big.


         Now I ask a lot of football players, but I am curious if you have a different take on this.  The NFL has changed a lot of rules to better protect Wide Receivers and Quarterback and protect against concussions.  As someone who played defense in College, Special Teams in the NFL and offense in High School, how do you feel about the new rule changes and the move towards greater player safety?

         “It’s a big deal.  My health right now is horrible.  My spine, my shoulder, my arthritis, the bulged discs, the concussions; it’s all from Football.  Playing Special Teams, and that was one of the biggest rules they changed was where they kick the ball of from.[xv]

         There were times when I would hit guys and I couldn’t feel the whole right side of my body.  My arm and my leg would be numb.  You would go down field and there would be a wedge buster, and I had never played special teams and I am told to hit number three.[xvi]  Number three, who is number two, what the fuck are you talking about?

         Here’s the thing; you’re breaking a wedge and there’s three of them and your coach tells you the only way you’re going to make the team is if you go nose to nose with number 2.  Nose to nose with number 2?  What does the hell does that mean?  There’s three of them!  Well, that is the guy in the middle.  If I don’t hit helmet to helmet with guy, it’s going to be an alley and they are going to run it back.  I have to shock this guy up, and I had to do that five or six times in a game, and it hurt!  I can’t tell you how bad it hurt. 

         These are kickoffs where everyone is running full speed.  These men are gladiators!  So was I, I was an NFL player, but some of these guys were more “gladiator” than I was!  If there was still slavery, they would have went first on the ship!  (Laughs)  You can laugh at that, go ahead man!”

         (Laughs) I have extra white guilt, my father is from Germany so I have that going for me too!

         “(Laughs) That’s hilarious.

[i]The Notinhalloffame Podcast will launch this summer.

[ii]This is no exaggeration.  I found countless articles where people in Washington were stunned that he left not only the state but the west coast in general.

[iii]The AAU stands for the American Amateur Union. 

[iv]This is the website for the company. 

[v]This is their website: 

[vi]An ESPN article commented on the huge loss for the University of Washington to not be able to sign Stevens. 

[vii]Neuheisel was the Head Coach for the University of Washington at the time.

[viii]Schembechler was the Head Coach for Michigan from 1969 to 1989.

[ix]Michigan went to the Rose Bowl in 1977, 1978 and 1979 in that time frame.

[x]That was in 2003 where the Wolverines won 35 to 21.  Making that game bigger at the time was that Michigan entered the game ranked at #5 and the Ohio State Buckeyes went into the game ranked at #4.

[xi]Michigan Stadium’s capacity is 109,901, which is the highest in all of Football.  Third in capacity in the NCAA is Buckeye Stadium with 104,944, Stevens biggest rival in college.  The highest capacity football field in the NFL is MetLife Stadium where the New York Giants and New York Jets play with 82,566 people.  That still only puts it 16th in Football capacity in the United States. 

[xii]It’s true, division rivals, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern have stadium sizes half the size, and those are still large venues!

[xiii]A “tweener” is this case refers to a defensive player who is skilled but doesn’t necessarily fit the role of current positions in defensive schemes in the National Football League.

[xiv]Hunley was one of the Defensive Coaches for the Bengals at the time.

[xv]The kickoff change in 2011 was when the ball was kicked from the 35 Yard line instead of the 30 Yard Line, which was designed to limit the amount of kickoff returns and increase touchbacks. 

[xvi]The wedge formation was made illegal in 2009.  Basically three of the biggest men on special teams were linked together to block for the runner.  The “wedge buster” was designed to break them up.  Any wonder why those kickoff team is often referred to as the “Suicide Squad”?

Last modified on Thursday, 22 March 2018 15:43
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Kirk Buchner, "The Committee Chairman", is the owner and operator of the site.  Kirk can be contacted at [email protected] .

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