A typical chorus from Cincinnati Bengals gamers this week, together with stars like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, has been that this 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl is “simply one other recreation.”
“Clearly it’s not, there are solely two groups left and it’s for a hoop, however I believe one of the simplest ways to go about it’s to attempt to deal with it like one other recreation,” Burrow stated after Friday’s follow, the final of the season.
Their opponent, the Los Angeles Rams, performed in a Tremendous Bowl simply three years in the past, a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots. The Bengals, in the meantime, had not received a playoff recreation because the 1990 wild-card spherical. This 12 months’s Cincinnati crew can be the youngest Tremendous Bowl roster ever, with a median age of 25.8 years, in line with an evaluation by the web site FiveThirtyEight.
However regardless of their relative youth, Bengals Coach Zac Taylor pointed to the big-stage expertise lots of his gamers earned in faculty or on different N.F.L. groups. Taylor, 38, is in simply his third season as a head coach however was the quarterbacks coach for the Rams in Tremendous Bowl LIII.
He stated that he and Duke Tobin, the crew’s director of participant personnel, deliberately constructed the crew round gamers with postseason expertise.
“They actually will not be overwhelmed by these moments — they’ve confirmed that during the last two months,” Taylor stated. “It’s a number of guys who’ve performed in championships in faculty, whether or not it was at L.S.U. or Clemson or Alabama or Ohio State. After which a number of these free brokers we’ve signed, they’ve been part of playoff groups earlier than. So these guys, they know they belong on this stage.”
9 Bengals gamers, together with Burrow and Chase, received a nationwide championship in faculty. Trey Hendrickson and Mike Daniels had been among the many free-agent signings who had playoff expertise with their earlier groups, the New Orleans Saints and Inexperienced Bay Packers.
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