In big calculus
multiverse Bootcamp, getting out of the month in good health is all that matters. Nothing underscores this better than Ja’Marr Chase who suffers from falls and Joe Burrow looks choppy in the pocket last year. The former was the offensive rookie of the year and the latter the comeback player of the year. Enough said.
The first week of camp tells us very little except for who is exercising and who is not. But things can always change in an instant, those who get reps have a leg up on those who don’t. Let’s check out some of the top winners and losers from the first week of Bengals Training camp.
Hayden Hurst And the Ja’Marr Chase: The absence of Joe Burrow didn’t derail the new narrow end of the attack and receiver #1. Hurst looked quite home so far, displaying high-quality hands and speed whenever he was asked to extend the playing field. Some of the best offensive plays in 11v11 have featured previous first-round picks with disputed wins.
As for Chase, he’s facing the opposite of what he went through last year. It wasn’t entirely fall-free, but it sounded in every bit of the elite receiver, even with Eli Apple constantly shouting in his ear. Most players agree that the game slows down in the second year. That seems to be the case for Chase, who is more explosive than ever.
Kwame Lassiter II: Darren Simmons said it himself: Lassiter’s only shot to make the team is at Punt Returner, and the college free agent is behind Trent Taylor in the clicking order. It also doesn’t hurt that the rookie has two second-team reps at the receiver with Tee Higgins currently sidelined out of rotation. Good so far, but preparing for the season will be key for it.
Joseph Usai: After nearly 12 months of rupturing his meniscus, the third-round pick for the 2021 Bengals has nothing to hold back now. Usai took it upon himself to start camp but was soon incorporated into the team’s workout and took part in the team’s first padded workout. With no physical limitations, Lou Anarumo could soon unleash an explosive pass-dash weapon at his quarterbacks.
Dax Hill and Thyssen-AndersonThe Bengals minor team as a whole performed well against the starting attack led by Brandon Allen. Hill specifically adapted quickly as a starter in place of the absent Jesse Bates, but Anderson was also a benefactor with lower rotation safety. Anderson making good impressions with 2s will bode well for him eventually when he’s active on his game days.
Joe Borough And the Lyle Collins: There hasn’t been enough practice to measure sub-par performance, and even if there is, it’s just a bootcamp. But Burrow’s lost time can’t be spun in a positive way other than a 0% chance of getting an odd injury. Collins’ back flare up before camp isn’t ideal either, and the lack of a full offensive line playing five players next to each other only dents cohesion. Fortunately, there is still time for both of them LSU Graduates to get their delegates before September.