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
OFFENSE29 (266.3)2 (144.6)31 (121.6)
DEFENSE22 (342.9)24 (120.3)23 (222.6)
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Year Totals

Table inside Article
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Neil RackersScoring
Akili SmithPassing
Corey DillonRushing
Peter WarrickReceptions
Peter WarrickReceiving Yards
Daniel PopePunting
Craig YeastPunt Returns
Tremain MackKickoff Returns
Neil RackersField Goals
Tom Carter, Takeo SpikesInterceptions
Steve Foley, Oliver Gibson, Cory HallSacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Bruce Coslet*, Dick Lebeau**Head Coach
Paul AlexanderOffensive Line
Jim AndersonRunning Backs
Ken AndersonOffensive Coordinator
Louie CioffiDefensive Staff Assistant
Mark DuffnerLinebackers
Ray HortonDefensive Backs
Tim KrumrieDefensive Line
Dick LeBeau**Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator
Steve MooshagianWide Receivers
Al RobertsSpecial Teams
Frank VerducciTight Ends
Kim WoodStrength 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
1Peter WarrickWRFlorida State4
2Mark RomanCBLouisiana State34
3Ron DugansWRFlorida State66
4Curtis KeatonHBJames Madison97
5Robert BeanCBMississippi State133
6Neil RackersKIllinois169
7Brad St. LouisTE-LSSouthwest Missouri State210

Pro Bowl

Player selected for the 2000 Pro Bowl: RB Corey Dillon

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