The Bengals coaching staff is welcoming four coaches to work with the team as interns in the 2015 Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program, including former Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Three current Bengals coaches, head coach Marvin Lewis, Jay Hayes (defensive line) and Brian Braswell (offensive assistant) have been interns in the program.
“As always, we are happy to have these guys with us in the Bill Walsh program,” said Lewis, who worked in it with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs prior to entering the NFL as a Pittsburgh Steelers assistant in 1992. “This program helped me get ahead as a coach, and it’s great to see it continue as strong as it is. It’s a good experience for our full-time coaches as well as the interns.”
Houshmandzadeh played for the Bengals from 2001-08 and ranks third on the club’s all-time receptions list with 507. He ranks seventh in receiving yards with 5,782, and fifth in receiving TDs with 37. He holds the Bengals record for receptions in a season, with 112 in 2007, and went to the Pro Bowl after that season.
Houshmandzadeh has worked recently as a high school coach in the Los Angeles area. He started his intern work with the Bengals today and will continue through the June 18 conclusion of the team’s mandatory minicamp.
Other intern coaches in the 2015 program include:
* Chuck Smith, former standout NFL defensive end with Atlanta and Carolina (58.5 career sacks). Smith has coached in college at the University of Tennessee and has worked extensively as a personal trainer to NFL players. He worked Bengals OTAs this year from May 25 through June 4.
* Keith Rucker, a six-year defensive tackle in the NFL, including two seasons with Cincinnati (1994-95). Rucker is currently defensive line coach at Ohio Wesleyan University. He will work during Bengals training camp in late July and early August.
* Kelvin Bell, director of on-campus recruiting for the University of Iowa football program. Bell played at Iowa and has served as a graduate assistant coach for the Hawkeyes. He will work during Bengals training camp in late July and early August.