Cincinnati Bengals’ Super Bowl XVI, XXIII stars: Where are they now?
In the 1980s, the Cincinnati Bengals lost two Super Bowls by a total of nine points. On Jan. 24, 1982, in Super Bowl XVI, the San Francisco 49ers beat them 26-21 at the Pontiac Silverdome outside of Detroit.
On Jan. 22, 1989, the Bengals fell to those same 49ers, 20-16, in Super Bowl XXIII at Joe Robbie Stadium outside of Miami, Florida. In both cases, the opposing quarterback was Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana. The coach was another Hall of Famer, Bill Walsh.
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As fate would have it, Walsh was a member of Paul Brown’s original Cincinnati Bengals staff where the “West Coast offense” originated. When Brown retired as coach in 1975 and chose Bill “Tiger” Johnson as his successor, Walsh resigned. In 1979, he became San Francisco’s head coach winning two of his three Super Bowl titles against his old employer.
Seven former Bengal players and three former coaches were part of both contests. Where are they now?
Breech kicked three extra points in Super Bowl XVI and field goals of 34, 43 and 40 yards in Super Bowl XXIII. He was in line to be the game’s MVP until Joe Montana spotted John Taylor open in the end zone with 34 seconds left. Breech has been active locally in sales, with the local chapter of NFL alumni and with the Kicks for Kids charitable organization with his placekicking successor, Doug Pelfrey.
The former Florida Gator started in Super Bowl XVI catching five passes for 107 yards. In Super Bowl XXIII, he caught three passes, which would be the last of his career. Moving on successfully to broadcasting, he took over 700 WLW Sports Talk from former Bengal Bob Trumpy and began a successful color commentary career. Recently, he’s been known for the “Collinsworth Slide” as he comes into the shot on NBC’s Sunday Night Football with former Reds play-by-play man Al Michaels. He also is the majority owner of Pro Football Focus.
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The former Bengals tight end was the team’s wide receivers coach in Super Bowl XVI and offensive coordinator in Super Bowl XXIII. He later became head coach of the New York Jets from 1990-93 before returning to the Bengals. After being named interim coach after Dave Shula’s firing, he later got the full title and coached until 2000 when he resigned after an 0-3 start. He last coached in the NFL as offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys in 2002. Now 75, Coslet last year saved a man from drowning in Collier County, Florida.
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Edwards was the starting left defensive end in Super Bowl XVI and was on the roster for Super Bowl XXIII. The former Miami Hurricane held the Bengals’ all-time record for sacks which was threatened by Carlos Dunlap. The NFL didn’t recognize sacks as a stat until 1982. Now 67, Edwards is in the University of Miami Hall of Fame.
Now 84, coaching veteran LeBeau was the Bengals defensive backs coach in Super Bowl XVI and was elevated to defensive coordinator by Super Bowl XXIII. He also succeeded Bruce Coslet as Bengals head coach from 2000-2002. After spending a year in Buffalo, he was Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator from 2004-2014 winning two Super Bowls. He finished his career with the Titans in 2015-2017 LeBeau was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 as a player for the Detroit Lions.
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Montoya was the starting right guard in both Bengal Super Bowls. Post football he invested in Penn Station East Coast Subs and was a silent partner in Montoya’s restaurant in Fort Mitchell. He also is the father of local television reporter, Allison Montoya.
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Starting left tackle in both Super Bowls and an NFL Hall of Famer, Munoz is still in town and runs the Anthony Munoz Foundation. In front of the camera, he’s been known for his Furniture Fair commercials and he had a cameo in the movie “The Right Stuff.” He is in the inaugural 2021 Bengals Ring of Honor.
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The backup quarterback led the Bengals to a come-from-behind win in the opening game of the 1981 season, 27-21 over Seattle. The former Stanford quarterback was again on the roster for Super Bowl XXIII. Post-football he briefly hosted a sports talk show on 55KRC going head-to-head with former teammate Cris Collinsworth. He then went into coaching serving on the staff of the Buccaneers, Bills, Giants, Panthers and Saints as well as in the CFL. Schonert died at 62 two years ago.
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The former City of Cincinnati council member started at right outside linebacker in both Bengal Super Bowls. He was twice the Whizzer White NFL Man of the Year and once the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year. After football, he oversaw the development of Disney’s Wide World of Sports and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Williams has an autobiography out, “Resilient By Nature” and lives in Sarasota.
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The colorful coach who passed a little over two years ago has the unique distinction of being part of both Super Bowls and part of both teams. From 1979-1982 he was an assistant coach under Bill Walsh and directed the San Francisco passing game. After a season at Indiana, Paul Brown hired his former quarterback as Bengals head coach. His career was highlighted by the 1988 season and Super Bowl XXIII. Until recently, he was the last Bengals coach to win a playoff game when the Bengals defeated the Houston Oilers in January 1991. Less than a year later, he was relieved of his duties and Dave Shula was hired. He died Jan. 2, 2020.
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