After finishing college at Central Michigan in 1983, Bentley went undrafted by the NFL and was taken by the Michigan Panthers in the USFL Territorial Draft. He’d play for the Panthers over the next two seasons, helping them win the USFL Championship, as the connection from Bobby Herbert to Anthony Carter on offense was almost unstoppable. Bentley played with the Oakland Invaders in 1985, which had merged with the Michigan Panthers, and reached the championship again, but the league folded after the season. As one of the quieter names in the league in an unglamorous position, Bentley again was not selected in the draft- this time being the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL players. He signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills in ’86.
An excellent find by the Bills, Bentley worked well in the team’s 3-4 alignment, alongside starters Cornelius Bennett, Shane Conlan, and Darryl Talley, plugging right into the lineup at right inside linebacker. A menacing run stopper, Ray relayed the play calls from the coaches to the team and made adjustments at the line of scrimmage for the defense. An intimidating run stopper, Bentley was fond of using eye black and streaking it down his cheeks as though they were tears. After playing in Buffalo for 6 years, Ray finished up his career with one final season playing for the Bengals, recording his first professional touchdown on a fumble he returned 75 yards.
Ray has been a very active guy since his days in the NFL ended. He’s done a series of children’s books including “Darby the Dinosaur” and has spent a lot of his time in color commentary for the Arena Football League and Bills radio broadcasts. He’s considered a member of the ‘New’ USFL advisory board, and also spends time coaching high school football.
G/Gs 87/53 Tac N/a Sac 2.0 Fum 3 Int 3 Yds 71 Avg 23.6 Td 0 Lg 58