How The Cincinnati Bengals Changed NFL History Part II: The Zone Blitz


Published: July 8, 2009

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... played defense.

In 1984, the Cincinnati Bengals hired new head coach Sam Wyche. Wyche, who would help develop the no-huddle offense (which you can read about here), was an innovator in the most literal sense.

He had coached under Bill Walsh and he had been around the legend when Walsh began planting the seeds for what would become the West Coast offense.

Shortly after Wyche's hire, he knew he needed a defensive coordinator and he wanted someone as innovative as himself. Instead of bringing in a new face, Wyche decided to promote Dick LeBeau, who had been the Bengals defensive backs coach for the prior four seasons.

The move made sense. The 1983, Bengals defense was ranked first in the NFL, thanks in large part to the 23 interceptions that LeBeau's defensive backs pulled in. 

In his first three seasons as defensive coo...

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