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On Jan. 24, Bengals OT Anthony Munoz (1980-92) was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Munoz was part of a five-member induction class, and he and Chicago Bears LB Mike Singletary became the 47th and 48th players among the then-194 members to be elected in their first year of eligibility. The official induction ceremony took place Aug. 1, at the Hall in Canton, Ohio. NFL labor events had led to Munoz gaining free agent status after announcing his retirement following the 1992 season, and he had signed with Tampa Bay (and his former Bengals head coach, Sam Wyche) as a free agent in '93. But Munoz gave up the comeback bid after suffering a shoulder injury in training camp, and because he was not with the Bucs in the regular season, he is recognized in the Hall as having played only for the Bengals. Plans for the Bengals' new stadium hit a serious snag in January of '98, due to a dispute between Hamilton County and the city over the county acquiring 12.5 acres of city land that it needed to build at its preferred western riverfront site. As the stalemate dragged on, the Bengals announced that if no agreement was reached by Jan. 31, the club would no longer be bound by the lease it had signed in spring of 1997. Tension continued to build until, at 1:15 a.m. on Feb. 1, City Council forged a past-the-11th-hour agreement to accept a county proposal. On April 25, officials from the county, city and the Bengals joined in a public groundbreaking for Paul Brown Stadium construction, with plans for the facility to be ready for the 2000 season. The news on the field was not so encouraging, as the team dipped to 3-13 in its second full season under head coach Bruce Coslet. QB Boomer Esiason, who had a sensational late-season return to the starting job in 1997, after four seasons playing elsewhere, announced prior to the season that he was retiring to join ABC's Monday Night Football as a broadcaster. The Bengals signed former Steeler Neil O'Donnell to compete with Jeff Blake for the starting QB job. O'Donnell won the job in training camp, but the team lost nine straight after beating Pittsburgh in Game 5. Blake started Games 14 and 15 before being injured, and the season ended with no clear starter in sight for 1999. HB Corey Dillon rushed for 1130 yards, becoming the first Bengal (and still through 2017 the only Bengal) to top 1000 in each of his first two Cincinnati seasons. In the season opener vs. Tennessee, injury-plagued HB Ki-Jana Carter, top overall pick in the 1995 draft, suffered a season-ending wrist fracture. DT Dan Wilkinson, drafted No. 1 overall by the Bengals in 1994, saw a rather stormy Cincinnati career end prior to the season, when he was traded to Washington for picks in the first and third rounds of the '98 draft. The Bengals used the picks to obtain LB Brian Simmons (first round) and G Mike Goff (third round).

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League Rankings

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OFFENSE 17 (301.5) 19 (102.4) 17 (199.1)
DEFENSE 28 (360.2) 30 (163.3) 12 (196.9)

Year Totals

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OFFENSE 979 271 1639 3185 4824 268
DEFENSE 992 310 2612 3151 5763 452
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Individual Leaders

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Doug Pelfrey Scoring
Neil O’Donnell Passing
Corey Dillon Rushing
Carl Pickens Receptions
Carl Pickens Receiving Yards
Lee Johnson Punting
Damon Gibson Punt Returns
Tremain Mack Kickoff Returns
Doug Pelfrey Field Goals
Sam Shade, Artrell Hawkins Interceptions
Reinard Wilson Sacks

Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Bruce Coslet Head Coach
Paul Alexander Offensive Line
Jim Anderson Running Backs
Ken Anderson Offensive Coordinator
Louie Cioffi Defensive Staff Assistant
Mark Duffner Linebackers
John Garrett Offensive Staff Assistant
Ray Horton Defensive Backs
Tim Krumrie Defensive Line
Dick LeBeau Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator
Al Roberts Special Teams
Kim Wood Strength and Conditioning
Bob Wylie Tight Ends
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1998 NFL Draft: April 18 - 19

Table inside Article
1a Takeo Spikes LB Auburn 13
1b Brian Simmons (acquired from Washington in trade on 2-26-98) LB North Carolina 17
2 Artrell Hawkins CB Cincinnati 43
3a Steve Foley LB Northeast Louisiana 75
3b Mike Goff (acquired from Washington in trade on 2-26-98) G Iowa 78
4 Glen Steele DL Michigan 105
5 (sent to Indianapolis in trade on 3-26-98) 135
6 Jason Tucker WR Texas Christian 167
7a Marcus Parker FB Virginia Tech 202
7b Damian Vaughn TE Miami (Ohio) *222

*NOTE: The Bengals received one compensatory pick (No. 222).