I don't know how you put a number on intelligence. And I don't know how many touchdowns he saved the Bengals because he knew what was coming. Cris Collinsworth
A franchise-best 207 games in 15 factory-approved seasons of unvarnished efficiency. An all-time club record of 65 interceptions, fifth best of all-time, 27 of them during seven crafty seasons after he turned 30. Ken Anderson never remembers him having a bad game. Cris Collinsworth never recalls a false step in practice.
The quintessential teammate in the ultimate team game. When he walked out of the locker room to give the halftime speech at his final Riverfront Stadium game in 1983, his teammates lined up chanting the nickname he won as a rookie. "Rattler, Rattler, Rattler," from the mascot of his beloved alma mater Florida A&M. Collinsworth compares his goodness of personality with the gentle greatness of Tony Dungy.
Riley died in 2020 of a sudden heart attack at age 72, nearly four decades after retiring with those 65 interceptions in 207 games that have remained Bengals' records. Barbara Riley, his high school sweetheart, looked at a framed picture of her husband of 51 years in their Florida home and told him of the honor after speaking with Mike Brown. Since Riley retired after the 1983 season, only one player, Rod Woodson has had more interceptions. Charles Woodson tied him at 65, fifth on the NFL list.
Steelers Hall-of-Fame cornerback Mel Blount didn't have as many interceptions as Riley, but he beat him to Canton with the help of Pittsburgh's four Super Bowl titles during his career.
Mike Brown recalled how Riley switched from quarterback to cornerback when he came into the league and how he stayed there for 15 years.
"That's a long time," Brown said. "He had a great ability to judge the ball. But he could also run and he was quick. He handled that position for us for such a long time and we just didn't worry about it. He was worry-proof."
"It is bittersweet he's not here," said Ken Riley II, recalling that last trip to PBS in 2017 to honor his father as one of the Bengals First 50 players. "I've never missed a time when the Bengals had something. It was always a trip for me and my boys. So this will be the first time he won't be with us."
Looking back at the career of Bengals legend Ken Riley, who passed away at the age of 72. Riley played 15 seasons for the Bengals as a defensive back, with 65 career interceptions for 596 yards and five touchdowns -- all franchise records.