Cincinnati Bengals: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
5 of 30

Embed from Getty Images

56. . NT. (1983-94). Tim Krumrie. 26. player

  • 2x Pro Bowl (1987-88)
  • 1x First-Team All-Pro (1988)
  • 1x Second-Team All-Pro (1987)
  • 1,0008 career tackles, 34.5 quarterback sacks, 13 forced fumbles
  • Cincinnati Bengals 40th Anniversary Team

Tim Krumrie dominated in college playing in the Big Ten for the Wisconsin Badgers. While he initially played inside linebacker in high school in his native Wisconsin, moving inside to nose tackle would lead to him dominating on the gridiron for the next two decades at multiple levels.

Despite leading the Badgers in tackles and being a three-time All-Big Ten player, Krumrie would fall to the Bengals in the 10th round of the 1983 NFL Draft. All he did with the Bengals was play nearly every game for them at nose tackle in his 12-year NFL career.

Krumrie appeared in 188 regular season games over those 12 seasons, starting predominantly at nose tackle. Though he was a bit undersized for the position at 6-foot-2, 274 pounds, his instinctual play helped him be an on-field leader for the Bengals defense for a dozen years.

He had over 100 tackles in a season twice for the Bengals, playing nose tackle! That’s ridiculous, as 100 solo tackles in a season would be a great year for a decent inside linebacker. With his speed and high football IQ, Krumrie would eventually become a Pro Bowler in the Cincinnati front-seven.

Krumrie made his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 1987. That fall, he had 88 tackles and 3.5 quarterback sacks in a 12-game season. This would lead to him being a member of the All-Pro second team. 1988 would be by far and away this best, and most unforgettable, year of Krumrie’s NFL career.

1988 would be his best season, as Krumrie not only got back to the Pro Bowl, but made the All-Pro first team. He had an otherworldly 152 tackles playing nose tackle and 3.0 quarterback sacks. Cincinnati was loaded and made it all the way to Super Bowl XXIII.

However in the biggest game of Krumrie’s life, he would succumb to a horrible broken leg. His tibia and fibula would snap when he was trying to bring down San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig. With a splint on his leg, Krumrie attempted to watch the rest of the game from the locker room before the doctors told him to go to the hospital. Otherwise, he might have gone into shock from the multiple fractures he sustained.

With a 15-inch rod in his leg, Krumrie would bounce back and play six more seasons in the Queen City before retiring in 1994 at age 34. Krumrie amassed 1,008 career tackles, 34.5 quarterback sacks and 13 forced fumbles in his Bengals career.

He obviously made the Bengals 40th Anniversary Team in 2007. Krumrie is undoubtedly one of the best defensive players to have ever played for the Bengals franchise. He would go on to have a successful NFL career as a position coach with the Bengals, the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs into the mid-2000s.