Top Three Storylines to Follow for Bengals Camp

Top Three Storylines to Follow for Bengals Camp

Ryan Knuppel
3 years ago
3 min read

Cincinnati Bengals rookies will report to training camp on Saturday, July 24, with the veterans showing up on July 27. Once the whole squad is there, lots of offseason questions will start to get answers.

Here are the three biggest storylines to follow as Cincinnati is about to start camp.

1. Ja’Marr Chase’s chemistry with Joe Burrow

The Bengals surprised quite a few people with the selection of Chase over an offensive lineman in April’s draft. But what’s done is done, and now the rookie has a chance to become the star wide receiver the team has lacked since the prime days of AJ Green.

Chase’s best year at LSU was in 2019, with Burrow as his quarterback. The wideout registered a whopping 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns en route to an undefeated season and National Championship. Now with the two Tigers changing their stripes from yellow and purple to black and orange, many are hoping to see an instant connection when they reunite on the field.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Chase initially struggle during camp, as the rookie sat out the 2020 season due to the pandemic. But perhaps Burrow helps speed him along faster than he normally would have if there was any other quarterback under center.

2. The new-look secondary

While Cincinnati is returning their starting safeties, including Jessie Bates III, there is also a trio of new starters at cornerback. Chidobe Awuzie, Trae Waynes, and Mike Hilton will all be on the field together for the first time, where we’ll finally be able to see the new players in action.

The big signing was Awuzie, who comes from the Cowboys after signing a three-year deal worth close to $22 million. Hilton, who came from the Steelers, is inked for the next four years at $24 million. Meanwhile, Waynes signed a large three-year deal worth $42 million last offseason but was placed on the IR and out for the season before playing a single game.

With Awuzie and Waynes on the outside and Hilton in the slot, the Bengals have the potential of putting a very strong secondary on the field. But getting them all on the field at once is the first step to getting there, so seeing them all at training camp will be important.

3. Joe Burrow

Simply put, all eyes will be on Burrow at training camp. While the attention may be different than last year, when months earlier he was the number one pick in the draft, it will still be strong as everyone wants to see how well he has recovered from a major injury.

Burrow’s rookie season came to an abrupt end in Week 11, as he tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee, along with additional damage to his PCL and meniscus. So the fact he is expected to be ready to go Week 1 is amazing and a sign that Cincy needs to do everything they can to protect their franchise man.

You can expect to see very light work from Burrow early on, as Zac Taylor and the rest of the coaching staff will aim to slowly bring him to game speed. So Bengals fans will be able to at least follow their young QB’s progression from the end of July up until the season opener against the Vikings.

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