Joe Burrow says he ‘anticipated’ throwing to Ja’Marr Chase on Bengals’ final Super Bowl game

Joe Burrow saw what everyone was up to in the wake of Super Bowl LVI. Perhaps the most viral game of the Rams’ 23-20 win over the was the picture of Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase opens downfield after Jalen Ramsey slipped on Cincinnati’s final offensive play. Rather than result in a possible game-winning score, the game ended with Burrow throwing an incomplete pass after being driven back by Aaron Donald.

Burrow, who spoke to the media for the first time since the Super Bowl, was asked about the play that received so much attention during the early days and weeks of the off-season.

“I checked that route,” Burrow said. “I was expecting to throw it, but didn’t really have the time. Like I said, we’ve put this behind us. We lost, we’ve had a great year, we’re moving forward.”

The piece symbolized the Achilles heel of the Bengalis last season. In addition to being hounded by the Rams’ pass rushers in the Super Bowl, Burrow was sacked a whopping nine times three weeks earlier in the Bengals’ win over the Titans in the divisional round. Including the playoffs, Burrow suffered 70 sacks during the 2021 season.

Cincinnati used free agency to rebuild its offensive line, signing veterans Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La’el Collins. Burrow acknowledged that he had spread a spread when Collins came to Cincinnati while visiting a free agent.

“We just had some snacks,” Burrow said with a smile. “That’s something I want to do every year. Make sure the guys we want to bring in feel at home in Cincinnati and with the team. That’s the culture we build in the locker room. We’re very close as a team. . .. I just want to portray that a little bit to the guys who are thinking about coming here and that we want to sign.”

Burrow praised the team’s new linemen, players who he believes will give the offense the ability to do more things than they’ve had in past seasons.

“They’ve been great so far. They’ve really taken responsibility for what they have to do to understand the offense,” Burrow said of his new team-mates on the attacking line. “Coming here and giving everything they’ve got during the OTAs we’ve had. They were amazing in the weight room, in the locker room. They were everything we wanted.”

Burrow had strayed from asking Karras and Cappa — who won the Super Bowls with Tom Brady in New England and Tampa, respectively — too much about the seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“I try to take things from different people here and there, but I’m really focused on refining my routine and everything I’m doing to be the best me,” Burrow said. “And I don’t think I can handle anything that makes Tom Brady great, which might not make Joe Burrow great.”

As for his routine, Burrow said he only gave himself a week off before resuming his workout routine after the Super Bowl. He watched the Super Bowl the next day.

“I treated it like any other loss,” Burrow said. “I went through that week, watched the movie, saw where I could get better, saw the things we did well, and then I moved on, put it behind me. We’re on the 2022 season.”

Speaking of the 2022 season, Burrow hopes the Bengals’ attack can be “more sophisticated, more technical”, especially at the start of the season. Through 13 games last season, Cincinnati was 7-6 and had made 21 turnovers. The Bengals made only two turnovers in the last eight games of the season, including their entire postseason run.

“I think towards the end of last year we started to have respect for our playmakers,” said Burrow. “Teams have completely changed the way they played us. I think for the next five, ten years it will just be more of the same. No matter how long we have those guys on the outside. Hopefully my whole career.”

Burrow expects the offense to have new wrinkles in 2022. That said, Burrow believes that coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan will not deviate from what made Cincinnati’s offense buzz last year.

“I’m going in with the expectation that we can open it up a little bit,” Burrow said, “maybe throw in some stuff that we couldn’t do last year and the year before. We’ve got a really good core group of plays that we do very well.” so we’re not going to let that down.”

As he and his teammates prepare for another season, Burrow doesn’t feel like the Bengals are starting all over again. He said the culture that has grown in the locker room in recent years continues to grow. Burrow also hopes to use last year’s playoff experience as a valuable learning tool for the future.

“We have the experience now,” Burrow said. “Last year we went in and we knew we were good but when we went into the play-offs we knew we could win but we didn’t really know what it took. We just went out and played really hard and together as a team and it worked.

“Now we know what it takes. We have that experience in our back pocket for the future.”

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