1980

Summary

Forrest Gregg managed only a 6-10 record in his first season as head coach, but he was laying the groundwork for a trip to the Super Bowl the following year. The first building block in that plan was the drafting of Southern California OT Anthony Munoz with the No. 3 overall selection. Munoz, who 18 years later would be a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame inductee, having played his entire career with Cincinnati, was enthusiastically endorsed by Gregg as Cincinnati’s top choice. Gregg’s deciding moment came when he was accidently knocked to the ground by an errant Munoz forearm while working Munoz out in a supposedly “light-contact” drill on a scouting trip. Gregg himself was a Hall of Fame OT, inducted in 1977. After drafting Munoz, the Bengals endured a high-profile and acrimonious contract negotiation with Munoz agent Mike Trope. But Munoz was signed just before training camp, hyped as “the NFL’s first million-dollar offensive tackle,” and he started all season at LOT. Gregg instituted notably tougher discipline policies on Bengals players and became the first Cincinnati head coach to insist players wear sport coats and ties on road trips. But on the field, QB Ken Anderson was injury-plagued and wound up splitting time with Jack Thompson on an offense whose 244 total points ranked last in the AFC. Gregg notched two of his wins against defending league champion Pittsburgh, but his club lost twice to eventual AFC Central champ Cleveland, which had fired him as head coach after the 1977 campaign.

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
TOTAL RUSH PASS
OFFENSE 19 (305.3) 12 (129.3) 21 (175.9)
DEFENSE 9 (300.3) 4 (105.0) 13 (195.3)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
PLAYS FIRST DOWNS NET YDS RUSH NET YDS PASS TOTAL NET YDS PTS
OFFENSE 1060 283 2069 2815 4884 244
DEFENSE 995 286 1680 3124 4804 312

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
PLAYER CATEGORY
Ian Sunter Scoring
Ken Anderson Passing
Pete Johnson Rushing
Dan Ross Receptions
Dan Ross Receiving Yards
Pat McInally Punting
Cleotha Montgomery Punt Returns
Cleotha Montgomery Kickoff Returns
Ian Sunter Field Goals
Louis Breeden Interceptions
Eddie Edwards Sacks

Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
COACH POSITION
Forrest Gregg Head Coach
Hank Bullough Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Frank Gansz Special Teams/Tight Ends
Lindy Infante Receivers/Quarterbacks
Dick LeBeau Defensive Backfield
Jim McNally Offensive Line
Dick Modzelewski Defensive Line
George Sefcik Offensive Backfield
Kim Wood Strength

1980 NFL Draft: April 29-30

Table inside Article
ROUND PLAYER POSITION COLLEGE SELECTION NUMBER
1 Anthony Munoz T Southern California 3
2 Kirby Criswell LB Kansas 31
3 Rod Horn DL Nebraska 59
4 Bill Glass G Baylor 86
5 Bryan Hicks S McNeese State 113
6a Jo Jo Heath KR/DB Pittsburgh 141
6b Andrew Melontree (acquired from Tampa Bay in trade on 5-30-79) LB Baylor 159
7a Ron Simpkins (acquired from San Francisco in trade on 7-16-79) LB Michigan 167
7b Gary Don Johnson DT Baylor 168
8 Mark Lyles RB Florida State 196
9 Greg Bright S Morehead State 224
10 Sandro Vitiello K Massachusetts 252
11 Alton Alexis WR Tulane *281
12 Mike Wright QB Vanderbilt 308

*NOTE: The Bengals had the No. 280 overall choice in Round 11 but passed, allowing Baltimore to move from No. 281 to 280.

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