The Bengals announced on Wednesday that Willie Anderson and Isaac Curtis will be added to the team’s Ring of Honor during the 2022 season.
Anderson and Curtis join quarterback Kenny Anderson, Hall of Fame coach and team founder Paul Brown, HOF tackle Anthony Munoz and cornerback Ken Riley, who were the inaugural class of the Bengals Ring of Honor in 2021.
The 2022 induction ceremony will take place during halftime of a Thursday Night Football game versus the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 29 (Week 4).
“These are two of our finest all-time players,” said Bengals owner Mike Brown, via the team’s website. “Willie was as good a right offensive tackle as you could draw up. He had it all — strength, movement and attitude. Isaac had incredible speed along with great hands. This is evidence for how our fans felt about Isaac during his career. They knew he was special. The Bengals are fortunate to have both of these outstanding players in the Ring of Honor.”
A vote was held among Bengals season ticket holders to decide the selection of Anderson and Curtis. Among the 15 players on the ballot for 2022 were kicker Jim Breech, running back James Brooks, wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, RB Corey Dillon, quarterback Boomer Esiason, safety David Fulcher, WR Chad Johnson, nose tackle Tim Krumrie, guard Dave Lapham, G Max Montoya, cornerback Lemar Parrish, tight end Bob Trumpy and linebacker Reggie Williams.
Affectionately known as “Big Willie”, Anderson anchored the Bengals offensive line for 12 seasons (1996-2007) and is considered one of the most reliable right tackles of his era. A three-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler, Anderson helped set the club’s single-season record for fewest sacks allowed twice during his tenure and helped paved the way for record-setting rushing performances by Dillon, who broke the single-game rookie rushing record in 1997 with 246 yards (since broken) and the all-time single-game rushing total of 278 yards in 2000 (since broken).
“This organization is pretty much built on how well their (offensive) lineman play. For the fans to pick that, to me that was an honor,” Anderson said. “The best player in team history is an offensive lineman and a guy who set the standard for me and the rest of the guys individually and as a group to follow.”
Curtis was a dynamic deep threat for the Bengals from 1973 to 1984 and was part of the first Bengals team to reach the Super Bowl in the 1981 season. Despite never eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark during his career, Curtis ranks third in franchise history in receiving yards (7,101) and 100-yard games (20), and ranks fourth in receiving touchdowns (53). The four-time Pro Bowler’s 17.1 yards per reception average still stands as the team’s all-time mark.
“You have a couple of generations that have come through Cincinnati,” Curtis said. “Chad Johnson had a great career. We’ve had a lot of great players. A lot of great players have gone on and done some great things. Cris Collinsworth. Reggie Williams. I’ve been out of there for quite a while. There have been some really good younger players that are fresher with (the voters) I would think and I’m very honored to go in this early.”
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