Greg Roman's Cincinnati ties

September 22, 2011, 10:49 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Greg Roman, the 49ers' offensive coordinator, has a unique history with the Cincinnati Bengals.At the age of 11, Roman performed odd jobs for legendary NFL coach and Bengals owner Paul Brown. Roman helped the Bengals -- retrieving footballs during pregame warmups -- in Super Bowl XXIII. That's the game in which John Taylor caught the last-minute touchdown pass from Joe Montana in the 49ers' 20-16 victory."I was most upset for Mr. Brown because I thought that would be his last chance to win a championship, so that was a tough one," Roman said Thursday.
Roman said Brown had a profound influence on him. Bill Walsh served seven years on Brown's coaching staff but was passed over for the head-coaching job when Brown stepped down.Roman, 39, did not know Walsh personally, but he learned a great deal about him over the summer with the help of the 49ers video library. NFL Films sent the 49ers boxes of Walsh videos from their archives. Roman said he watched 60 DVDs of Walsh in installation meetings at home in June and July after his family had gone to bed."A lot of late nights," Roman said. "I'd get to bed at 3 in the morning quite a bit. I'd watch them when everybody went to bed. A little pop corn. It was good."And what did he learn about Walsh?"He was a brilliant guy," Roman said. "He was great at getting his point across. Those were a true pleasure to watch."Do the videos stand the test of time?"No question," Roman said. "I think his ability to teach and get his point across stand the test of time. Really, the plays and all that don't matter. A play is a play. Everybody runs plays. But his ability to formulate a plan and get that plan across over the course of time was something special."When I watch them in 1984, getting ready to play the Bears. Then, they play the Giants in '88, you could see the evolution and take it all the way through. And you could see how he evolved, as well, with his communication style. It was very different than it was early in the '80s."

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