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Former Bengals CB Ken Riley, who had 65 INTs, dies at 72

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For parts on three decades, Ken Riley patrolled the defensive backfield for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Across 15 seasons, Riley came away with 65 interceptions and the cornerback became one of the franchise's all-time best players.

Florida A&M University -- where he was a standout player before eventually becoming a head coach and athletic director -- announced Riley died early Sunday morning. A cause of death was not reported.

A sixth-round draft pick by the Bengals in 1969, Riley became a starter in Cincy as a rookie and remained one through his final season -- an All-Pro campaign in 1983.

"Everybody here loved Kenny. He had everyone's respect. He was a success with us, and after his playing career as a coach and athletic director at Florida A&M.

"When he came here, Kenny and Lemar Parrish had never played cornerback, and they're the two best we've ever had," Bengals president Mike Brown said in a statement. "And we've had a lot of good ones. We put him over there for a decade and a half and we didn't have to worry about it. Kenny was quick to the point of the ball as a great interceptor and he was an excellent tackler, even though he wasn't a very big man.

"I'm going to miss him. He was a good guy and a solid man. We send our condolences to his family."

A quarterback at FAMU, Riley was converted to cornerback by Paul Brown upon joining the Bengals and finished his career fourth in NFL history with the aforementioned 65 career picks. Riley is still tied for fifth in NFL chronicle.

A member of the Bengals Hall of Fame, Black College Football Hall of Fame and FAMU Athletics Hall of Fame, Riley is the only player ranking among the NFL top-five career interception leaders not to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Riley's standout career saw him start 201 of the 207 games he played. The 207 games are a Bengals franchise standard. His team-record 65 interceptions came to be as he had at least one interception in every season he played and multiple picks in all but one campaign. He had five interception returns for touchdowns and 18 fumble recoveries.

During Riley's career, the Bengals made five playoff trips, including a march to the franchise's first Super Bowl in the 1981 season.

An All-Pro in his final season, Riley somehow never made a Pro Bowl.

He concluded his career at 36 with an eight-interception season with two returned for scores.

Thereafter, he was an assistant for the Packers for two seasons and eventually returned to FAMU, where he was the head coach from 1986-1993. At his alma mater, he posted a 48-39-2 record and won a pair of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference crowns and two conference coach of the year honors. He was named AD in 1993 and held the position until 2004.

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