August 26, 2014

Highlighted Year: Ashley Ambrose, 1996

Cornerback, Cincinnati Bengals

Age: 26 (Sept. 17)
5th season in pro football, 1st with Bengals
College: Mississippi Valley State
Height: 5’10” Weight: 192

Ambrose was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 1992 NFL draft. While he displayed talent on coverage, he was also inconsistent and failed to live up to expectations. He intercepted five passes, all in his last two years in Indianapolis, and had a good postseason as Indianapolis advanced to the AFC Championship game in 1995. Ambrose moved on to the Bengals as a free agent for ‘96.

1996 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 8 [3]
Most interceptions, game – 2 at San Diego 9/8
Int. return yards – 63
Most int. return yards, game – 31 (on 1 int.) at Buffalo 11/17
Int. TDs – 1 [4, tied with many]
Sacks – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 1
Tackles – 44
Assists – 6

TDs – 1
Points – 6

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Bengals went 8-8 to finish third in the AFC Central and led the NFL with 34 interceptions.

Ambrose followed up his breakout year with another solid effort in 1997, but problems at the other cornerback position combined with a deficient pass rush made it more challenging. After three years in Cincinnati, he moved on to the Saints in ’99 and then signed with Atlanta in 2000, where he combined with Ray Buchanan to create a fine cornerback tandem. Making up for diminishing speed with savvy, Ambrose spent three seasons with the Falcons before returning to New Orleans in 2003 for his final two years (he signed with the Chiefs in 2005, but was released prior to the regular season). Over the course of 13 seasons, Ambrose intercepted 42 passes, three of which he returned for touchdowns. He overcame a slow start with the Colts to become a good, if not spectacular, NFL cornerback and 1996 remained the only season in which he received All-NFL and Pro Bowl recognition. Afterward, Ambrose went on to become an assistant coach at the college level.


Highlighted Years features players who were first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970