84 times did Joe Burrow connect with Ja’Marr Chase during LSU’s 2019 championship season. 20 of those connections resulted in touchdowns.
Needless to say, the Bengals couldn’t resist harnessing that connection for themselves.
Burrow and Chase have only practiced together a few times since the latter was drafted with the fifth-overall pick back in April’s NFL Draft, but the two friends from their time in Baton Rouge are starting to pick up from where they left off over a year ago.
“We can look at each other and already know what we’re thinking,” Chase told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com of him and Burrow. “I just knew it. I just know sometimes. I had a feeling.”
The quicker the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and Fred Biletnikoff Award winner rekindled their chemistry, the quicker the Bengals’ offense could begin transforming into the unit they aspire to be. It appears it hasn’t taken very long for Burrow and Chase to get on the same page again, at least on the practice field.
Of course, Chase’s history with Burrow wasn’t the primary reason they made him their first-round pick. The 21-year old receiver possesses a skillset that matches exactly what Cincinnati’s offense lacked last year, and his familiarity with concepts Burrow brought with him from LSU is only a plus. That said, Chase is cognizant enough to know the offense he’s entering is not a carbon copy from the one he left after 2019.
“We still have some of the same stuff concept-wise, Chase said. “There are the same routes that have the same names…(But) it’s totally different.”
Opposing defenses, at least early in the season, may acquaint themselves with 2019 LSU tape to see which concepts Burrow and Chase excelled at before the NFL version of the duo starts growing together. While having similar terminology from that offense will help Chase’s transition, he knows that coordinators will take advantage of schemes they expect to see. It has to be different enough.
“We make it unnoticeable,” Chase said. “We’re in the NFL. They’re going to pay attention to all of that.”
Burrow and Chase grew in a new offense before and it worked out pretty well. They can do it again, now as old friends, reunited.