By all accounts, Tee Higgins 2020 rookie campaign was a success. The Cincinnati Bengals wideout did his damage early and often throughout the 2020 campaign. He even continued to be effective when starting quarterback Joe Burrow went down with a season-ending injury halfway through the year. The Bengals were clearly impressed with Higgins early on and Head Coach Zac Taylor stated, “I feel like every week he’s just become better and better.”
In 2021, enter Ja’Marr Chase, who now gives the Bengals a powerful wideout trio, that also includes Tyler Boyd. It just so happens, that they employ 11 personnel 82% of the time, which ranks second in the NFL, according to ESPN’s Mike Clay. Taking this into consideration, Higgins is set up to have a big second season in 2021.
Tee Higgins Set Up for Big Year Two in 2021
Ja’Marr Chase has some special traits the Bengals can benefit from in 2021. He has speed, supreme strength, athleticism, late hands when the ball is on him, familiarity with Burrow, and most importantly, the confidence and determination to back it all up.
The biggest beneficiary of the Chase pick and his presence on the field might just be Tee Higgins. Shaped in the mold of A.J. Green, his skill set is that of great body control, fluid movements, and a solid route runner. Clearly, the varying traits between the two wideouts will greatly benefit the Bengals offense, but especially Higgins.
Chase’s speed alone will force opposing defenses to pair their top defensive back on him. It will also help open up the field wherever he is not. Above all, Chase is going to help open up those deep shots that Burrow and Bengals struggled to convert on last year.
Joe Burrow and Zac Taylor’s Arsenal Upgrades
Joe Burrow’s rehab and subsequent recovery seem to be going well. In 2020, the offensive line was not the only part of the offense that struggled for the Bengals. The running game sputtered after Joe Mixon got injured. The receiving corps routinely lacked the ability to separate from defensive backs consistently. This played a role in the hits and sacks piling up for Burrow.
As Zac Taylor surveyed the off-season, the need for multiple ways to protect their star quarterback became evident. Upgrading an offensive arsenal, especially one that is heavily predicated on 11 personnel, was too good to pass up. Throw in the Burrow and Chase familiarity factor and the Bengals have to be hopeful about the direction of the offense.
Tee’s Time to Shine
Rolling into 2021, Tee is working even harder to emulate A. J. Green, who was his idol growing up. He’s been honing his craft and is currently training with former Bengals cornerback Adam “PacMan” Jones. With the departure of Green, [Higgins] noted, “Now’s the time and me and Joe and Tyler and Joe Mixon, we’re just going to go out and be great and be who we are. About winning games for the Bengals.”
Joe Burrow and Zac Taylor are about to show the NFL what they can do. Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, C.J. Uzomah or Drew Sample, Mixon, and Higgins can be a potential five-headed monster and nightmare to defend. It’s now up to Taylor to get the most out of his weapons that play right into his playcalling wheelhouse.
Higgins is ready to show the NFL he shouldn’t be overlooked because as he enters his second season, he’s ready to ascend even higher. The Jungle awaits…
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