Breakthrough Bengals have Griz football connection to Colt Anderson | Montana grizzlies

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MISSOULA — He made many Montanans proud as a standout safety for the Griz football team and later as an NFL player, and now Colt Anderson is doing it again as an assistant coach for the Bengals. from Cincinnati.

The Butte native helped guide the Bengals to their first playoff victory in 31 years on Saturday night against the Las Vegas Raiders. Paul Brown Stadium was a lunatic asylum. The city of Cincinnati was in shambles.

The Bengals will play again next weekend — in Tennessee if the Chiefs beat underdog Steelers on Sunday night — for a spot in the AFC Championship.

It almost seems fitting that Anderson, an underdog himself, has been part of a mediocre Bengals team for decades. Anderson walked to the University of Montana in 2004 and did not receive a scholarship until his senior season.

He played nine seasons in the NFL and currently serves as a special teams coach with Cincinnati.

“Character and commitment helped me get to where I am,” he said in June as he spoke to a group of Treasure State preppers as they prepared for the annual Shrine Game in Butte.

“These two things will get you further in life than anything. It depends on the kind of person you are and how committed you are to the task. If you have these things, you can be anything you want to be.”

Anderson is in his second season with the Bengals. Considered one of the best special teams in the NFL during his nine-year playing career (2009-17), he served alongside one of the league’s top special teams coaches in coach- assistant chief/special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, who is in his 19th season leading the Bengals special teams units.

During his nine seasons as an NFL player, he spent time with the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills. He played in 84 career games (seven starts) and recorded 109 tackles, one interception and two forced fumbles on defense, as well as 58 special teams tackles.

Anderson’s last stop in the NFL as a player was at Buffalo, where he spent the 2016-17 seasons. Injuries limited him to just seven games over two seasons with the Bills, but he still had five special teams tackles and, when healthy, was considered a special teams baseman. .

Following his playing career in the NFL, Anderson spent one season (2019) as a volunteer coach at his alma mater, Butte High, where he focused primarily on defense and special teams. He and his brother, Beau, own a restaurant called the Missoula Club, and he and his other brother, Luke, own a clothing company called Uptop. He and his wife, Keelie, also founded the Colt Anderson Dream Big Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on delivering “programs and experiences that will engage our young people, encouraging them to invest in their future. “.

Anderson was a star running back and safety in high school. He holds a diploma from Montana in business information systems and he also obtained a teaching certificate in secondary education. He and his wife have four sons: Cage, Krew, Coye and Kace.

Bill Speltz is Missoulian’s sports editor and has been a Sunday columnist for the past 15 years. Do you have a story idea? Email Bill at [email protected]

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