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UFL’s Orlando Franchise has Several Bengal Connections

The latest attempt at a competing football league has launched and is deep in the process of commencing its inaugural season. The United Football League (UFL) is attempting to do what so many previous incarnations like the WFL, the USFL, and the XFL have failed to do: succeed as a competing product to the NFL.

UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue, a former member of the Jacksonville Jaguars front office, has lent legitimacy to the fledgling enterprise and assembled other former NFL players, coaches and executives to nurture the upstart league without the fanfare, glitz, and cheese ball gimmicks of previous failed attempts. The league will begin play in the fall and crown its first champion Thanksgiving weekend.

There are four franchises for the inaugural season, all coached by respected NFL veterans. The San Francisco franchise will be coached by Dennis Green, New York’s by Ted Cottrell, the Las Vegas team will be headed by Jim Fassel, and the Orlando unit will be led by Jim Haslett, all recognized for their success at the NFL level.

Though the head coach in Orlando is Jim Haslett, who made his name in Pittsburgh, New Orleans and St. Louis, his staff has some recent Bengal ties. Chuck Bresnahan, Defensive Coordinator in Cincinnati from 2005 to 2007 coaches the Orlando Linebackers. Al Roberts, the special teams coach during the dark Coslet/Lebeau years, will coach their teams units, as well as the TE position group.

Thursday night the UFL conducted their first player allocation draft. Upon inspecting the results, the Orlando team also selected several recognizable names to Bengals fans.

Former first round RB Chris Perry was selected to lead their rushing attack. Perhaps he’ll prove to be more durable and less fumble prone in a lesser league. If not, they’ll turn to another former Bengal tailback in Quincy Wilson. On the defensive side of the ball, there were two other former Bengals picked.

Safety Mike Doss, who couldn’t crack the line-up during his partial season with the Bengals in 2008 will roam their backfield, with LB Anthony Schlegel, who failed as a middle linebacker for the injury riddled Bengals of 2007 anchoring the middle of their defense. Neither Ohio State alum could significantly help the Bengals, but perhaps they can resurrect their careers in Orlando.

As a final footnote, former Bengals TE Matt Schobel saw his brother Bo also selected to the Orlando team.

Other Notables:

Former Bengal TE/FB Ronnie Ghent was drafted by New York, P Danny Baugher and RB Terrence Whitehead, who both had a cup of coffee in Cincinnati were taken by Las Vegas. Charles Collins, Chad Ochocinco’s junior college coach and mentor, coaches the San Francisco wide receivers.

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