One of the biggest reasons, outside of his own physical ability, that Ja'Marr Chase was long speculated as a target of the Bengals in the 2021 draft was the wide receiver's history with quarterback Joe Burrow, his former LSU teammate. Two months after Chase went No. 5 overall to Cincinnati, officially reuniting with his old signal-caller, Burrow says the duo's chemistry is "right back to where it was" in college, talking up the rookie pass catcher and assuring reporters Tuesday that their relationship has only continued to progress.
"I'm excited about where he's at," Burrow said of Chase, who spent 2018-2019 with the QB at LSU. "He's a really smart player that understands what we're trying to do in the offense. I'm not going to have to tell him what to do every single play. He knows exactly what's expected of him.
"I told everyone coming in that he's not going to bust," Burrow added. "He's going to know exactly what to do. He's going to be a pro. And that's exactly what's happened ... And then he's just super smooth on the field. He doesn't look like he's going super hard, and guys are coming up to me it's like, 'Is he going hard?' And then we go up against a defense, and you can see he looks exactly the same, but he's going ... He's just at a different speed than everybody else ... It's exciting to have him. He's going to be great for us, and he's a great friend as well."
Chase and Burrow's best college seasons coincided, with the former posting an FBS-leading 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019, the same year Burrow threw a record 60 touchdowns to win the Heisman Trophy. Chase figures to serve as one of the QB's top pass targets this year alongside fellow Bengals wideouts Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.