The Paul Brown Stadium era began on Aug. 19, as the Bengals christened Cincinnati's new football showplace with a 24-20 preseason win over the Chicago Bears. WR Peter Warrick scored the first Bengals preseason points in PBS on a 14-yard end-around run in the first quarter. In the stadium's Grand Opening regular-season game Sept. 10 vs. Cleveland, before a Cincinnati sports record crowd of 64,006 (since surpassed by the Bengals). The Browns won, 24-7. Rookie WR Ron Dugans scored the first Bengals regular-season points in PBS on a four-yard TD pass from Akili Smith. The '00 Bengals drew four other crowds which exceeded the pre-PBS record for a sports crowd in Cincinnati, but the Browns game stood as the new record at year's end. On Sept. 25, following an 0-3 start to the season, Bruce Coslet resigned as head coach and was replaced by assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who was named interim head coach. The team finished 4-9 under LeBeau, including 4-6 in the final 10 games and a 2-2 mark in the final four. On Dec. 20, LeBeau signed a multi-year contract to begin in 2001. LeBeau's first victory, on Oct. 22 vs. Denver, featured a then NFL-record 278 rushing yards by Corey Dillon, who went on to set a Bengals record (since broken) of 1435 yards for the season, earning his second straight trip to the Pro Bowl. Against Denver, Dillon broke a 1977 record of 275 yards set by Chicago's Walter Payton. It was an all-or-nothing day for Dillon, as he was stopped on 10 of his 22 carries for one or fewer yards, but he had five runs of 30-plus, including TD runs of 65 and 41 yards. "It seemed like a high school game," Dillon said of his numbers. Dillon's 278 stood as the NFL record until Sept. 14, 2003, when Baltimore's Jamal Lewis had a 295-yard game vs. Cleveland, and Dillon's total ranks fourth in league history through 2017. The Denver game was Cincinnati's first regular-season win at Paul Brown Stadium. Akili Smith opened the year as starting QB, but the offense stalled, and he was replaced after a Nov. 5 loss at Dallas by veteran 2000 free agent signee Scott Mitchell. Prior to the season, on June 1, the Bengals released HB Ki-Jana Carter, their injury-plagued 1995 top draft pick. On July 20, Cincinnati released talented but malcontent WR Carl Pickens. Pickens' departure had left Darnay Scott set to take over as the No. 1 wideout, but Scott suffered a broken leg in training camp on Aug. 1 and missed the season.

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE 29 (266.3) 2 (144.6) 31 (121.6)
DEFENSE 22 (342.9) 24 (120.3) 23 (222.6)
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Year Totals

Table inside Article
OFFENSE 1001 254 2314 1946 4260 185
DEFENSE 1068 307 1925 3562 5487 359
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Neil Rackers Scoring
Akili Smith Passing
Corey Dillon Rushing
Peter Warrick Receptions
Peter Warrick Receiving Yards
Daniel Pope Punting
Craig Yeast Punt Returns
Tremain Mack Kickoff Returns
Neil Rackers Field Goals
Tom Carter, Takeo Spikes Interceptions
Steve Foley, Oliver Gibson, Cory Hall Sacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Bruce Coslet*, Dick Lebeau** Head Coach
Paul Alexander Offensive Line
Jim Anderson Running Backs
Ken Anderson Offensive Coordinator
Louie Cioffi Defensive Staff Assistant
Mark Duffner Linebackers
Ray Horton Defensive Backs
Tim Krumrie Defensive Line
Dick LeBeau** Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator
Steve Mooshagian Wide Receivers
Al Roberts Special Teams
Frank Verducci Tight Ends
Kim Wood Strength and Conditioning

*Resigned after Game 3.

**Was Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator for Games 1-3 and Head Coach for Games 4-16.

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2000 NFL Draft: April 15 - 16

Table inside Article
1 Peter Warrick WR Florida State 4
2 Mark Roman CB Louisiana State 34
3 Ron Dugans WR Florida State 66
4 Curtis Keaton HB James Madison 97
5 Robert Bean CB Mississippi State 133
6 Neil Rackers K Illinois 169
7 Brad St. Louis TE-LS Southwest Missouri State 210

Pro Bowl

Player selected for the 2000 Pro Bowl: RB Corey Dillon

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