Burrow: Bengals ‘know what it takes’ now to win

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    Ben BabyESPN Staff Writer

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    • ESPN Staff Writer
    • Previously, a college football writer at The Dallas Morning News
    • University of North Texas graduate

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals started the current phase of offseason workouts with knowledge they didn’t have last spring.

A year ago, the AFC North’s last-place team was trying to get back into playoff contention. The Bengals were just a possession away from winning their first Super Bowl.

In his first news conference since Cincinnati’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said the postseason run will give them the confidence to make another run.

“We knew we were good last year, but we didn’t know what it would take to win this year,” Burrow stated Tuesday. “We just went out there, played hard and worked together, and it worked out.

“Now we know what it takes, and we have that experience in the back of our hands going forward. “

This week marked the start of phase 2 of voluntary exercises, a three-week period in which coaches can work with players during drills on the field. It’s the first time the team has worked together since the Bengals’ best season in three decades ended with a 23-20 loss to the Rams.

Before last postseason, Cincinnati hadn’t reached the playoffs since 2015 and was in the midst of the NFL’s longest drought without a playoff win, which stretched back to January 1991.

Burrow stated that he watched the Super Bowl again and dealt with the loss as any other in his playing career. Cincinnati wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, last season’s Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, hasn’t revisited the dramatic finish but agreed that the postseason experience gave the team confidence for 2022.

“Now, we just have to expect that we’re the best in the league,” Chase stated Tuesday. “We have to keep that expectation in mind and be open to it. “

Last season marked the Bengals’ third conference championship, matching the franchise’s feats from the 1981 and 1988 seasons. Cincinnati has never been able to sustain postseason success in the past. The Bengals have never been to the playoffs in consecutive seasons.

After a season that saw Cincinnati overcome so many negative trends, the Bengals will be looking to make another mark in order to remain Super Bowl contenders.

“We’ve seen it, we’ve done it,” Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins said. “And we know what it takes get back to that point. This is our standard. This is our standard for the team. Ain’t no looking back. “

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