Paul Brown’s Bengals: Pat McInally
As much as Paul Brown sought out physical talent, the legendary football genius also searched for smart players to fill his rosters. The most exemplified player of this practice has to be Pat McInally.
McInally was a receiver out of Harvard, who had the second most receptions in the nation in 1973 and was named an All-American in 1974. However McInnaly was most likely selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with in the fifth round of the 1975 draft because of his perfect score on the Wonderlic Test.
The intelligence test which was developed in the early 1970s is given to prospective players by the NFL to judge their aptitude for adapting to certain situations.
McInally told Rivals.com in 2006 that he did not think NFL teams put a big emphasis on the test at the time. With seemingly no pressure, he was able to excel on the exam.
“It really did seem like an easy test at the time,” he said. “One of the reasons I did so well is because I didn’t think it mattered. So I think I didn’t feel any pressure at all. It was more of a lark, and that’s when you do your best.
“If I took it 100 times I’d probably never do that again.”
It turns out, that the exam may have actually hurt his draft stock with some teams.
“Coaches and front-office guys don’t like extremes one way or the other, but particularly not on the high side,” McInally said. “I think they think guys who are intelligent will challenge authority too much.”
After missing his rookie season because of a broken leg suffered at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1976 College All-Star Game, McInally settled in with the Bengals in the rugid AFC Central Division. He lined up as both a receiver and punter for the Bengals.
A series of concussions relegated McInally to a full-time punting role by the start of the 1982 season. The previous season, he was selected to the Pro Bowl as a punter. McInally told Rivals.com that he found punting boring and in 1985 he retired.
After retirement, McInally invented the Starting Lineup action figures series and sold the idea to Kenner toy company. While in a toy store, McInally saw many figures like G.I. Joe, but did not see replicas of professional athletes. From 1988 to 2001, the five inch action figurines were produced for star athletes in all four major North American professional sports leagues.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the Starting Lineup series a special edition Pat McInally figuring was produced, which is shown to the left.