Seven NFL teams underwent either significant or subtle changes to their uniforms this offseason, including the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Longtime Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason thinks his former franchise should follow suit, and sooner rather than later.
“The one thing I will say going into next year, the Bengals are going to have to redo their uniforms. They are just horrific. I don’t like them,” Esiason said on CBS Sports Radio’s ‘Boomer and Gio’ show. “They’ve just got too much stuff going on. Too much orange. Too many things happening on that uniform. They need tone it down. It’s hard to tone down tiger stripes, but you can. I just think that the jerseys over the last 15 years just have not been all that great looking.”
New uniforms typically include a two-year design process, so Esiason’s wish will go unanswered this season. But Cincinnati has notably worn its current set since 2004, and the timing would have been ideal since the Bengals just selected former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.
The biggest point of contention when it comes to the Bengals’ current uniforms is the white side panel on both the home black and orange alternate jerseys, as well as the orange yoke on the road white set. So asked what he’d like to see from franchise’s new look, Esiason referenced Oklahoma State’s simplistic use of an orange and black color scheme — though it’s worth noting the Cowboys do have a unique pattern on their collar and cuffs, as well as a custom number font.
“They do it right in a lot of ways,” Esiason said of the Cowboys. “Maybe Nike designers will steal some of the ideas that they have used at Oklahoma State.”
Esiason, who played in Cincinnati from 1984-92 and returned for a second stint in 1997, thinks the Bengals’ helmet should remain untouched. But also noted the team’s all-white Color Rush set would look great with a white shell.
“The helmet is great. The helmet is awesome,” Esiason said. “But if they do go to white helmets, then they can go to the white Bengal tiger. And they have actually worn all-white when they did the Color Rush, and they were white and black. And it looked great. It really looked great. But you have to have a white helmet along with it with the Bengal stripes on it.”
A second-round pick (No. 38 overall) in the 1984 NFL Draft, Esiason completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 27,149 yards, 187 touchdowns and 131 interceptions in nine seasons with Cincinnati. He led the Bengals to an appearance in Super Bowl XXIII, and was named the league MVP that season. Esiason also spent four seasons with the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals.
Photos via the Cincinnati Bengals and Oklahoma State football.