As a child, Munoz was barred from playing Pop Warner because he was too big. As an adult, Munoz – the third overall selection out of USC in 1980 — used his size to dominate defensive linemen as an 11-time Pro Bowl selection and became the first Bengal elected into the Hall of Fame in 1998. Munoz played in two Super Bowls (XVI and XXIII), losing both to San Francisco and is a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the 1980s All-Decade Team.
While attending a Division III college in Illinois on a basketball scholarship, Anderson also dabbled in football. Good call. Anderson, drafted 67th overall, spent his entire playing career (16 seasons) with Cincinnati. In 1981, Anderson accounted for 3,754 yards and 29 touchdowns, earning NFL MVP and Comeback Player of the Year honors. The quarterback, who was a member of Cincinnati’s coaching staff from 1993-2002, threw for 300 yards and two scores in the Bengals’ Super Bowl XVI loss to San Francisco. Anderson is the only player in league history to win four NFL passing titles who is not in Canton.
Toughness. As a member of the Wisconsin Badgers football and wrestling teams, Krumrie took his licks, and kept on ticking. During a 12-season career with the Bengals, Krumrie – a first team All-Pro in 1988, recorded 1,017 tackles, 34.5 sacks and 13 fumble recoveries in 188 games. Despite breaking his left leg in three places during Super Bowl XXIII, Krumrie returned to play six more seasons with a surgically-implanted steel rod.
From the start of his Cincinnati career as the 38th pick in the 1984 draft to the end in 1997 after stints with two other teams, Esiason was a Bengals fan favorite. The 1988 NFL Most Valuable Player – who declined to play in the Pro Bowl following Cincinnati’s Super Bowl XXIII loss — holds career marks for left-handed QBs including touchdown passes (247), passing yards (37,920), and completions (2,969). Esiason, who also earned the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 1995 for his charitable work, is currently an analyst for CBS.
Curtis was so fast, and such a pest to opposing defenses, that he had his own NFL rule created. "The Isaac Curtis Rule” states that a defender is allowed to block a receiver within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage but after the initial 5 yards, any contact is considered holding. Curtis, who ran the 100 yard dash at 9.30 seconds during his tenure on Cal’s track team, ended his 11-year Cincinnati career with 416 catches for 7,101 yards and 53 touchdowns. Curtis used his speed during his tenure to average 17 yards per catch and played in four Pro Bowls.