MOBILE, Ala. — Tim Krumrie anonymously nudged Bengals president Mike Brown during one of the drills this week at the Senior Bowl and asked, "Need a nose tackle?"
Brown smiled and let out a "Timmy," but truth be told Krumrie knows that defensive tackle is Cincinnati's deepest position. And out in Hawaii this week, Geno Atkins becomes the first Bengals defensive lineman since Krumrie to go to two Pro Bowls.
It is no surprise that Krumrie, who coached the Bengals defensive line for eight seasons after playing the fourth-most games in club history with 188, loves how Atkins plays.
"Outstanding, outstanding player. I love his motor," Krumrie said. "I love his power. I've watched quite a few games. He's enjoyable to watch. I like him a lot. He's got leverage. He hits the quarterback when he's supposed to get to the quarterback. For a young interior lineman his production has really been terrific. He's doing a heck of a job."
Krumrie, 52, came right from the East-West Shrine Game, where he coached the East's defensive line for head coach Jerry Glanville, and he's looking to get back into the NFL. After he coached the Bengals, he had stints with the Bills and Chiefs for seven more seasons and the last two years he coached in the UFL, one of them under Glanville, his new buddy.
"We became very close very quickly," Krumrie said of the former Bengals nemesis from the old Bengals-Oilers rivalry. "We like a lot of the same things."
One of them is defense and Krumrie, who lives in the Colorado mountains, is still coaching it with the tenacity that allowed him to lead the Bengals in tackling during five of his 12 seasons.
A nose tackle?
"The (players) were asking me how many sacks I had; they don't remember me," Krumrie said with a laugh. "I told them I didn't have a lot of sacks, but I may have had enough tackles to lead the team a few times and they could check it. They came back the next day and said, 'Hey, Coach … .' "
Like Krumrie says, "Whoever wants to be coached, I coach. Camps here, camps there. High school to youth football to college. I love being around it."
It is guys like Atkins that keep him going.
"When I see players do that, play hard, I always automatically fall in love with them." Krumrie said. "At the East-West Game, I told the guys if they go hard all the time, I'll coach you the best I can in the short time we have and they got better because they wanted to."