Occasionally, we'll pause here to take a quick look back at a select few moments in Cincinnati Bengals history.
As you well know, on the field that history has mostly been fraught with pain and defined by losing. But there have been many a joyous day, too, in the nearly 46 years the franchise has operated. We're here to relive it all; the happy times, the sad ones and the ones that simply make the Bengals one of the more unique teams in all of football.
March 13, 2003
As the Bengals began changing direction 11 years ago under new head coach Marvin Lewis, they thought signing a free-agent tight end would help the transition process. On this date, Reggie Kelly was brought to Cincinnati.
The unrestricted free agent's arrival came on the heels of a four-season stay in Atlanta. During those earliest years of what became a 12-year NFL career, Kelly had trouble standing out in the Falcons' offense and establishing himself as a pass-catcher. One year after he caught 31 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns, the Falcons drafted Alge Crumpler and turned him into their new star at the position. It didn't help matters that the Falcons also were still getting longtime veteran Brian Kozlowski into the rotation, giving them a unique three-tight end setup.
When Kelly arrived, Cincinnati also ended up turning to a three-tight end rotation. Matt Schobel, whom the Bengals drafted in 2002, and Tony Stewart were already on the roster. At 26, Kelly's charge was to become a leader over the pair of 24-year-olds and to eventually get his own career going. He went on to do just that.
Kelly played for the Bengals through the 2010 season and was part of the playoff run in 2005. He missed the 2009 postseason trip after a preseason injury put him on injured reserve. The highlight of Kelly's years with the Bengals came in 2007 when he was voted the Ed Block Courage Award winner. In seven seasons in Cincinnati, he caught 125 passes for 970 yards and three touchdowns. In 2008, he was the team's third-leading receiver behind T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson.
A current Bengal has his own anniversary on this date. On March 13, 2012, cornerback Terence Newman was cut by the Dallas Cowboys. A month later, he signed with the Bengals, joining his former Dallas defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer. The pair was only together two seasons, though. Zimmer left his post as Bengals defensive coordinator earlier this offseason to become Minnesota's head coach.
Newman, 35, is the oldest member of an aging defensive backfield. Had it not been for a late-season injury last year, he may have ended up having one of the most productive seasons of his career. In 13 games, he had 52 tackles, two interceptions and recovered a fumble for a game-winning touchdown return.