Progress continued to be forged on the Bengals' efforts to secure their future in Cincinnati with a new stadium. The biggest step came on March 19, when Hamilton County voters approved by 61-to-39 percent a measure to fund new Bengals and Reds stadiums with a half-cent sales tax increase. The vote came after vigorous public debate, and the Cincinnati Post termed it a "landslide victory" for backers of the issue. On Sept. 10, the Bengals reached preliminary agreement with Hamilton County on a 30-year lease, for an as-yet unnamed and un-sited stadium. The Bengals pushed vigorously for a riverfront site, opposing proposals to build in the Broadway Commons area just northeast of downtown. Both public polls and experts' recommendations indicated a preference for a riverfront site, but the question remained undecided as the year ended. The new stadium's name also remained undecided, but early public response showed strong support for naming it after Bengals founder Paul Brown. On Sept. 9, Riverfront Stadium was re-named Cinergy Field, as the energy utility Cinergy reached a $6 million naming rights deal with Hamilton County to cover the stadium's remaining years of use. On the field, the team lost six of its first seven games, but Cincinnati's fortunes took a U-turn after offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet was promoted to head coach on Oct. 21, replacing the released Dave Shula. Coslet directed the team to a 7-2 finish, including a 5-0 mark at Cinergy Field. The Bengals stayed alive for the playoffs until the next-to-last week of the season, when despite defeating Houston they were eliminated due to results elsewhere. Coslet, signed only through '96 when he took over as head coach, was extended on Dec. 14 through 2000. A signature win for Coslet came Nov. 3 at Baltimore, when the Bengals rallied from a 21-3 deficit to win 24-21. The 18-point deficit stands through 2017 as largest ever overcome by the Bengals in a road win. WR Carl Pickens, who in 1995 had become the first Bengal to lead the AFC in receptions, led the conference again with 100, the first Bengal to hit the century mark. The defense had 34 INTs, a club record that stands through 2017. CB Ashley Ambrose, a veteran free agent in his first Bengals season, led the team with eight INTs and went to the Pro Bowl along with Pickens.

960810-Bengals_Cardinals-AP_96081001406-Jeff Robbins-NEW

League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE10 (326.6)13 (112.1)12 (214.5)
DEFENSE25 (341.8)12 (102.7)29 (239.1)

Year Totals

Table inside Article

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Doug PelfreyScoring
Jeff BlakePassing
Garrison HearstRushing
Carl PickensReceptions
Carl PickensReceiving Yards
Lee JohnsonPunting
Corey SawyerPunt Returns
David DunnKickoff Returns
Doug PelfreyField Goals
Ashley AmbroseInterceptions
Dan WilkinsonSacks
961027-Bengals_Jaguars-AP_96102701680-Mark Lyons-NEW

Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Dave Shula*, Bruce Coslet**Head Coach
Paul AlexanderOffensive Line
Ken Anderson***Quarterbacks
Bruce Coslet**Offensive Coordinator
Bobby DePaulStaff Assistant
John GarrettWide Receivers
Tim KrumrieDefensive Line
Ron MeeksDefensive Backfield
Gary MoellerTight Ends
Joe PascaleLinebackers
Larry PeccatielloDefensive Coordinator
Joe WesselSpecial Teams
Kim WoodStrength and Conditioning

*Released after Game 7.

**Was Offensive Coordinator for Game 1-7 and Head Coach for Games 8-16.

***Was Quarterbacks Coach for Games 1-7 and Offensive Coordinator for Games 8-16.

960816-Bengals_Redskins-AP_96081602114-Mark Wilson-NEW

1996 NFL Draft: April 20 - 21

Table inside Article
1Willie AndersonTAuburn10
2Marco BattagliaTERutgers39
3Ken BlackmanG/TIllinois69
4Jevon LangfordDEOklahoma State108
5Greg MyersSColorado State144
6Tom TumultyLBPittsburgh178
7Rod JonesG/TKansas219

Pro Bowl

Players selected for the 1996 Pro Bowl: CB Ashley Ambrose, WR Carl Pickens