Paul Brown, the Bengals' founder and first head coach, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died on Aug. 5 at age 82, at his Cincinnati home. The cause of his death was complications from pneumonia. His funeral was held Aug. 7 in his hometown of Massillon, Ohio. Among those in attendance were NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former commissioner Pete Rozelle, numerous team owners and eight Hall of Famers. Pall bearers included former Bengals Ken Anderson, Reggie Williams and Dave Lapham. As directed by Brown during his final days, the current coaches and players remained at work in training camp at Wilmington, Ohio during the days after Brown's death. But head coach Sam Wyche, a private pilot, flew his own plane from Wilmington to Massillon during a short break in his camp schedule. At the funeral, Pete Rozelle said: "Whether they know it or not, nearly everyone in the game of football has been affected by Paul Brown. His wealth of ideas changed the game." Brown's son Mike, a key figure in both bringing the Bengals to Cincinnati and in operating the club, took over as chief executive. The season, a major disappointment at 3-13, would be the eighth and final one for Wyche as Bengals coach. Following a Dec. 24 end-of-season meeting between Wyche and Mike Brown, the team announced that Wyche had unexpectedly resigned. Wyche interpreted events as his being fired, but there was no disagreement that his tenure had ended. On Dec. 27, the Bengals announced that WRs coach Dave Shula was promoted to replace Wyche. Shula, the son of legendary coach Don Shula, became at age 32 the second-youngest head coach in NFL history. (Harland Svare took over the L.A. Rams in 1962 at age 31). Mike Brown and Wyche went on to maintain cordial relations, and a disagreement over compensation for Wyche from his 1992 contract was later settled amicably. Wyche would go on to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as head coach from 1992-95. Prior to the season, the NFL announced new guidelines for media locker room access, action that had been sparked in large part by Wyche repeatedly expressing concern over the propriety of having female reporters in the locker room. Though the NFL maintained full access for all reporters, teams were instructed to screen shower areas from view, provide robes or extra-large towels to all players, and provide separate post-game interview areas for head coaches and key players.

910101-Bengals_Esiason-AP_91010103675-Ed Reinke-NEW

League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE14 (310.6)12 (113.2)11 (197.4)
DEFENSE28 (353.3)13 (103.9)28 (249.4)
910113-AFC_Playoff_Game-AP_9101130269-Lenny Ignelzi-NEW

Year Totals

Table inside Article

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Jim BreechScoring
Boomer EsiasonPassing
Harold GreenRushing
Eddie BrownReceptions
Eddie BrownReceiving Yards
Lee JohnsonPunting
Mitchell PricePunt Returns
Eric BallKickoff Returns
Jim BreechField Goals
David FulcherInterceptions
Tim KrumrieSacks

Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Sam WycheHead Coach
Jim AndersonRunning Backs
Dana BibleQuarterbacks
Marv BradenSpecial Teams
Dick LeBeauDefensive Coordinator
Jim McNallyOffensive Line
Dick SelcerLinebackers
Dave ShulaWide receivers
Mike StockTight Ends
Chuck StudleyDefensive Line
Kim WoodStrength

1991 NFL Draft: April 21 - 22

Table inside Article
1Alfred WilliamsLBColorado18
2(sent to San Francisco in trade on 4-21-91)45
2Lamar Rogers (acquired from San Francisco in trade on 4-21-91)DEAuburn52
3Bob DahlDENotre Dame72
4aDonald HollasQBRice99
4bRob Carpenter (acquired from San Francisco in trade on 4-21-91)WRSyracuse109
5Mike ArthurCTexas A&M130
6Richard FainCBFlorida157
7Fernandus VinsonSNorth Carolina State184
8Mike DingleRBSouth Carolina211
9Shane GarrettWRTexas A&M241
10Jim LavinG/TGeorgia Tech263
11Chris SmithTEBrigham Young295
12Antoine BennettCBFlorida A&M322

Pro Bowl

Players selected for the 1991 Pro Bowl: OT Anthony Munoz