Candidate for the Bengals Ring of Honor: Isaac Curtis

Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago the Bengals accidentally leaked what looked like the start of a ring of honor. After more than 50 years since its inception and 40 years since its first Super Bowl run, it is time for the club to honor its greatest and most influential people.

In this series, we’re going to highlight players who we believe will either deserve a spot or will be worthy very soon. The list has gotten quite extensive over the time Cincinnati has hosted the Bengals, and they have a lot to do with the possible installation.

Today we can talk about one of the most talented Cincinnati Bengals that most fans probably don’t know about. In Cincinnati’s long history of recipients, Isaac Curtis may stand at the forefront as the most talented.

Isaac Curtis (No. 85)

  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 192
  • Position: Broad receiver
  • Bengal’s career: 1973-1984
  • Design: 1st round, 15th election (1973)

When Bengals fans think of talented broadband receivers from their favorite franchise, the quickest names that come to mind are AJ Green, Chad Johnson, Carl Pickens, and maybe even Chris Collinsworth. There is a good reason for that, because these guys are extremely talented and good at what they do. One name that has been lost to time is Isaac Curtis.

Curtis’ career needs some background to fully appreciate it. He was a track star throughout his college career and ran back before getting his final season, which turned out to be a great move. His great season, catching 44 passes for over 800 yards and seven touchdowns, resulted in his being selected by the Bengals in the first round.

His rookie season is one of the most notable for the way modern football is played. Curtis was so fast that most of the teams grabbed and poked him as he ran down the field. Things that are unknown today in today’s Pass Happy League. The following season, the NFL changed the rules so the defense couldn’t, and it became known as the “Isaac Curtis” rule. The rule also completely eliminated cutting and “blocking” receivers by defensive players after the rookie averaged 18.7 yards per reception.

That gives you an idea of ​​the era Curtis was playing in. The teams didn’t have quarterbacks tossing the ball 30-40 times per game, and defense was still allowed to be relatively physical with wideouts. This has a huge impact on where Curtis lands compared to the all-time receivers in terms of statistics. Curtis never caught more than 50 passes in a season, and he never had a 1,000-yard season. What he did was an average of more than 15 yards per reception in eight of his 12 seasons, including an average of more than 20 yards per reception in 1974 and 1975.

It’s easy to see how Curtis could easily have benefited from playing at a time when teams were more willing to throw the ball. Even if he played in the ’90s, he would likely still be the holder of many of the Bengals’ top reception records. His entire career would probably also be far more respected. It’s also worth noting that the NFL didn’t move to 16 games until 1978.

Even if you compare Curtis to the Hall of Famers of his time at John Stallworth (537 receptions, 8,723 receiving yards, 63 touchdowns, and three pro bowls) and Lynn Swann (336 receptions, 5,462 receiving yards, 51 touchdowns, and three pro bowls), Curtis stands above or on a par with each of them.

Honor ring resume

  • 4-time pro bowler
  • 17.1 yards per catch (1st in franchise history)
  • 7,101 Receiving Yards (3rd in franchise history)
  • 53 touchdowns (4th in franchise history)
  • 416 receptions (6th in franchise history)
  • Sixth Longest Reception in Franchise History (85 Yard TD from Ken Anderson – 12/12/76 in NY Jets)

Curtis was a player who was way ahead of his time and that shows in forcing the league to change their rules. It’s frustrating to see such a talented player being forgotten simply because the statistics of his era are simply out of date by modern standards.

One thing is for sure, Curtis was a very important part of the Bengals’ success in the early 80’s. This ring of honor is intended to ensure that the most important names in the history of this franchise are not forgotten too late. Curtis should be as quick in this ring as he played the game.

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