Cincinnati Bengals’ All-Time Top 5: Linebackers

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4.) James Francis

James Francis is one of my all-time favorite Bengals. He was the leader and staple of a Bengals Defense that played in the worst decade in franchise history, the 1990′s. He seems to have been forgotten by today’s fan base. He compiled 508 Total Tackles, 33 Sacks, 11 Interceptions, 3 Defensive Touchdowns, and 1 Safety as a Bengal. Unfortunately there isn’t much that can be said about Francis thanks to being on so many bad teams. He was overlooked year in and year out when it came to the Pro Bowl even though his numbers mirrored some of the greats during his 9 year Bengals career (Junior Seau 761 Total Tackles, 37.5 sacks, and 10 interceptions / Derrick Thomas 473 Total Tackles, 109.5 Sacks, 4 Defensive Touchdowns, and 1 Safety / Kevin Greene 457 Total Tackles, 101.5 Sacks, 3 Interceptions, 2 Defensive Touchdowns, and 2 Safeties). I look at these stats and think how much better Francis could have been had he been on better teams. The only stat that hurts Francis is the sack. He played in an era when the LB was the sack artist. Today his stats would hold up better.

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Topics: Bill Bergey, Brian Simmons, Cincinnati Bengals, Free Agency, Free Agent, Front Office News, James Francis, Jim LeClair, NFL, NFL Draft, NFL News, Reggie Williams, Takeo Spikes

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  • SeanOD

    Hit the nail on the head with this one. Can’t say I would have changed anything here. Although I do have to give an honorable mention to Carl Zander. Loved that guy in the late 80′s.