Bengals Receiver Tee Higgins Set for 2021 Breakout Year

Bengals Receiver Tee Higgins Set for 2021 Breakout Year

Nick Pedone
3 years ago
2 min read
Bengals Receiver Tee Higgins Set for 2021 Breakout Year

Though he was no slouch as a rookie, things are lining up well for Tee Higgins in Cincinnati. After a more-than-impressive first year in the league, the former second-round pick looks like a major breakout candidate.    

Earning the praise of teammates and coaches for his hard work over the off-season, it’s become quite clear that he’s ready to become a star.

Compiling 908 yards, 6 touchdowns and 67 catches last season, Higgins felt the need to get into better shape ahead of the upcoming campaign. By all accounts, he added muscle and picked up speed ahead of OTAs.

Burrow Shows Love To Higgins

After the team completed minicamp this week, franchise quarterback, Joe Burrow, had high praise for Higgins. “We have some horses on offense that I’m real excited about. Tee’s gonna have a big year.”  

This is big news for Bengals fans. Higgins dealt with an injury during the team’s limited training camp last season.  

It took the wide receiver a few games to get going due to that factor. However, after catching Joe Burrow’s longest pass of the season, a 67-yard deep ball down the sidelines against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6, he emerged as the team’s top receiving option.  

Seemingly, the duo was just hitting their stride when Burrow went down against the Washington Football Team. From there, Bengals fans were left to wildly wonder about the results of the budding chemistry between the two.

Now, with a full off-season program of work alongside Burrow and head coach Zac Taylor, the team has a chance to start building some meaningful chemistry.  

Adding Ja’Marr Chase Should Help Higgins Shine Even Brighter  

Heading into the 2021 season, the Bengals have one of the best receiver trios in the league. They already had quite a tandem with Higgins and one of the league’s best slot receivers, Tyler Boyd.

The team adds rookie Ja’Marr Chase to the mix,who brings instant chemistry with college teammate Joe Burrow. During the run-up to the draft, some argued that this was something of a slight to Higgins.

Instead, adding Chase gives secondaries a lot more to respect and consider in
coverage. This means less double-coverage on Higgins and chances to go against
number-two corners from opposing teams.  

Given Higgins’s fantastic catch radius and footwork, taking away double coverage from him is music to the ears of offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.

"Obviously [we want] guys that got some ability to play outside as a true outside wide receiver that can go win one-on-one," Callahan said on the Locked On Bengals podcast prior to the 2021 NFL Draft. "Tee Higgins is that type of guy.”

Taking additional coverage off of Higgins, adding more high-level targets for Burrow, and the year-two receiver getting his body in better condition is a formula for success in Cincinnati.

With the offensive line and receiver rooms bolstered, Higgins has more time to create separation and win one-on-one match-ups. Clearly, this is a favorable picture to paint for his connection with Joe Burrow.  

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