Former Bengals players and the football world react to Ken Riley's passing

Ken Riley's former teammates used some heartfelt words to describe the Bengals legend
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Ken Riley was one of the greatest players in Cincinnati Bengals history.

He passed away on Sunday at his home in Bartow, Florida. He was 72.

Riley spent all 15 seasons of his pro career in the Queen City, compiling the fifth-most interceptions (65) in NFL history. He was a three-time All-Pro.

Some of Riley's former teammates honored him on social media when they heard the news. 

"Saddened by the passing of my friend and former teammate Ken Riley." Ken Anderson tweeted. "One of the best Bengals of all time, not only a great player but more importantly a great man. RIP Ken Riley."

Former Bengals great Cris Collinsworth made it clear that Riley should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

"One of my favorite Bengals, Ken Riley, passed away. He should be in the Hall of Fame, 65 interceptions, but was an even better man," Collinsworth tweeted. "He humbly coached me after most routes, and saved me from Rookie Pranks. He never uttered one word of self-promotion, think Tony Dungy."

Plenty of prominent figures in the NFL community were saddened by the news. Everyone spoke glowingly about the man who played quarterback in college, before switching to cornerback in the pros. Riley had four interceptions as a rookie, even though it was his first year at that position.  

“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," Bengals owner Mike Brown said in a statement. “When he came here, Kenny and Lemar Parrish had never played cornerback, and they’re the two best we’ve ever had. 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.”

Former Bengals Willie Anderson and Solomon Wilcots also tweeted about Riley's passing. 

Plenty of former Bengals offered their condolences, but other prominent NFL figures were also saddened by his death. 

"So sad to see the passing of Ken Riley," Tony Dungy tweeted. "He was a great player and even better person. Asking God’s blessings and comfort on his family."

Hall of Fame executive Gil Brandt shared similar thoughts and also stated what so many Bengals fans have thought for many years: Riley deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. 

"Condolences to the family of Ken Riley, one of the great cornerbacks our game has seen," Brandt wrote. "I wish he could have gotten into the HOF while still alive. Finished career with 65 interceptions; only four players in NFL history had more. Not bad for a former college QB. Rest easy."