The Bengals coaching staff is welcoming two coaches to work with the team as interns as part of this year’s Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program.
The coaching interns are:
*Brandon Johnson, head coach at Betty Fairfax High School in Laveen, Ariz. (outside Phoenix). Johnson played LB in the NFL for seven seasons, including four (2008-11) with the Bengals. He saw action in 87 career NFL games, and totaled 224 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three INTs. He last played in the NFL in 2012 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
*Cortland Finnegan, who after spending 11 seasons (2006-15) in the NFL as a CB is transitioning to a coaching career. During his NFL playing career, Finnegan spent time with the Tennessee Titans (2006-11), St. Louis Rams (’12-13), Miami Dolphins (’14) and Carolina Panthers (’15). He played in 133 career games and totaled 663 tackles, seven sacks, 18 INTs (four returned for TDs) and five FFs.
Three current Bengals coaches were past interns with the program — linebackers coach Tem Lukabu, defensive assistant Gerald Chatman and defensive line coach Nick Eason. Chatman was an intern for the Bengals during OTAs and minicamp last year, while he was serving as special teams coordinator/outside linebackers coach at Tennessee State University.
“The Bill Walsh Fellowship is valuable program for the Bengals, the NFL and the game of football,” said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. “It provides an avenue for rising young coaching candidates to work alongside NFL coaches and staff, and gain familiarity with essential parts of our jobs like instruction, communication, scheme, operations and culture. From the team’s end, it gives our coaching staff exposure to these candidates and allows us to build valuable and lasting relationships.”