Bengals Banter: Former Players make Positive Impact in the Community


Oct 9, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals guard

Bobbie Williams

(63) reacts as he walks off the field after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-20 during a game at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-USA TODAY Sports

Bobbie Williams was a rock along the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line for much of the past decade as he played eight seasons with Cincinnati (2004-2011) and was the longest-tenured member of offensive line, starting 120 games at right guard but his career in strips abruptly ended on December 12, 2011, when he was placed on the Injured Reserve list after suffering an ankle fracture the day prior. 

After becoming a free agent the next offseason, the Baltimore Ravens signed him, and earned his first Super bowl ring this year when they defeated the San Francisco 49ers. Williams was later cut this offseason, and is still awaiting a team to sign him.

But in the meantime, Williams took the time to speak at Cincinnati State Middletown on Monday about his rise from poverty and adversity.

Middletown NAACP President Dora Bronston attends church with Williams at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, and she thought Williams’ message was one that can change the lives of children for the better:

"He has a voice of encouragement. Bobbie’s background is such that he thought he would never be able to leave his hometown (in Jefferson, Texas). He knew he had to try harder than anyone else in order to make it, work harder in order to survive.For anyone who is starting over, his story can really encourage people because it’s a story you should never give up.I think success in sports has a lot of parallels with success in life. I’d like for our students to hear what makes a successful team, like teamwork, persistence and setting goals."

After Virginia Tech middle linebacker Bruce Taylor went undrafted in this year’s NFL Draft, the Bengals quickly scooped him up and signed him to a contract to bring him into camp this summer, and Taylor told WPDE NewsChannel 15 in a recent interview that the coaches been working him at inside and outside linebacker to maximize his chances of making the team:

"It’s up in the air because they’ve got a bunch of young guys in this year, so they’re trying to see what we’re all going to do. Some guys might make the 53-man this year, then some guys will end up being on the practice squad. It just depends on who performs the best going into these preseason games."

And a former Bengals linebacker recently became a high school football coach. Eric Shaw, who played with the Bengals from 1992-94, has spent the past 12 years coaching under Friday night lights with the Lafayette Generals in Lexington, Kentucky.

On Saturday the high school announced that Shaw will be promoted from defensive coordinator to the team’s head coach.

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