Cincinnati Bengals Draft Pat McInally
Pat McInally, Harvard's All-American receiver, was selected yesterday by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the National Football League's collegiate player draft.
From his home in California, McInally said he was pleased with the selection "because I'll certainly be going to a passing team."
McInally said the Bengals often use three wide receivers in a wide-open offensive game which he described as "similar to Harvard's."
"It's nice to be going to a winner," McInally said, pointing out that the Bengals just missed the playoffs this season despite being wracked by injuries.
The selection came as a bit of a surprise to football observers at Harvard because Cincinnati does not seem to have any glaring need for either receivers or punters.
The team's wide receivers include Issac Curtis, who an All-Pro this season, along with Charley Jointer and Chip Meyers, a duo that caught about 50 passes between them. Punter Dave Green finished third in the conference with a 41-yard average.
However, Cincinnati's Bill Walsh, coach for the quarterbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers, said McInally will "definitely play," even if he doesn't start. The nature of the Bengals's offense, he said, is well-suited to alternating receivers and giving them all considerable playing time.
"It's a good, easy way to break a kid into the pros," Walsh said.
McInally said he was disappointed when he learned the Bengals had drafted him solely as a receiver.
Walsh, however, said that McInally's punting could be an additional asset for him. However, he said the Bengals are very satisfied with Green's punting and that McInally will at best be a second-string punter.
"It never hurts to have depth among punters," Walsh said, "but we feel that it's important to have an experienced punter."
Walsh said Cincinnati will give McInally "real consideration" for the Bengals' kicking chores, now handled by field-goal specialist Horst Muhlman.
"It's always helpful to have a real football player covering downfield after a kick," Walsh said, "rather than have a kicker who's useless after he's kicked the ball."
"Pat will do a fine job out there," Harvard coach Joe Restic said. "He may not have real blazing speed, but he has real quick feet and can jump." McInally's time of 4.65 seconds in the 40 is impressive for a man his size, he said.
Furthermore, McInally "makes good, sharp breaks, runs his patterns well, and can come back real well for the ball," Restic said.
Walsh said McInally did not go higher in the draft because some clubs, including his own, were "possibly prejudiced," believing that McInally, after living in an "intellectual environment," might not want to play pro ball or might have a "shortened career."
Nevertheless, McInally was one of the earlier wide receivers picked, during the first few rounds when pass catchers were generally ignored.
McInally was the only Ivy Leaguer chosen in the first five rounds. Al Krevis, an offensive lineman from Boston College chosen by Cincinnati in the second round, was the only other New England collegiate picked in the first five rounds.