Commanders’ Chase Younger is aware of firsthand that Joe Burrow is ‘that dude’
ASHBURN, Va. — As Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow sat on a cart making ready to go away FedEx Discipline on Nov. 22, 2020, his season over due to a knee harm, his former school teammate, Chase Young, walked over and leaned in. He instructed Burrow he liked him; he instructed him to get properly. After which Younger mentioned somewhat prayer.
However the Washington Commanders pass-rusher additionally knew one factor: Burrow could be again. And he is perhaps even higher. Burrow is a significant purpose why the Bengals will play the Los Angeles Rams in Tremendous Bowl LVI on Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
“Joe’s that dude,” Younger instructed ESPN. “Nobody’s actually shocked.”
Although Burrow made his title at LSU, the place he received a nationwide title and Heisman Trophy — Younger was additionally considered one of 4 finalists with him in New York — Younger mentioned those that knew Burrow earlier than he turned a family title understood his potential.
The quarterback spent three years at Ohio State, transferring in 2018 after he graduated following a spring competitors in opposition to Dwayne Haskins for the beginning job. Younger spent one season with Burrow as an Ohio State teammate.
“A man’s work ethic tells who he’s and Joe was at all times a man who was by no means afraid to work,” Younger mentioned. “He at all times wished to be first in every part. We used to have our crew runs and it was a contest; Joe by no means wished to lose.”
Younger then pointed to a video that resurfaced recently exhibiting Burrow concerned in a contest at Ohio State. A tire was positioned between two gamers — Burrow and linebacker Pete Werner. The gamers then grabbed the tire with the aim of pulling the opposite man outdoors of a delegated space on a mat. Burrow received.
“We knew wherever Joe went he’d be ‘that man,'” Younger mentioned. “We all know how he is wired. Every part Joe does I take a look at it and smile.”
Former Ohio State coach City Meyer as soon as instructed ESPN that Haskins received the job over Burrow partially as a result of regardless that he considered Burrow as a stronger competitor — owing to his days as a three-sport standout in highschool — Haskins was extra superior as a passer.
“Joe can ship that rock now,” Younger mentioned. “That was by no means an issue.”
Nor was his demeanor. Some discuss with him as Joe Cool for the way he handles conditions, resembling main a comeback from a 21-3 deficit on Jan. 30 within the AFC Championship Recreation to beat Kansas City on an time beyond regulation area aim.
“Joe was at all times cool,” Younger mentioned. “I keep in mind my freshman yr I went to a home occasion and noticed Joe there. He had fun, he was dancing. He was at all times a superb teammate, only a good man that loves ball.”
Throughout the 2019 season one other former Ohio State teammate, Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin, was requested about Burrow. McLaurin’s eyes lit up and he mentioned, “That is my boy!” He later mentioned Burrow can provoke a crew and others wish to compete with him as a result of he performs with an edge. That is why McLaurin, who additionally was across the cart when Burrow was injured in 2020, knew the quarterback could be OK.
McLaurin, who spent three years with Burrow at Ohio State, additionally predicted one thing that got here true.
“He at all times bounces again from adversity, from challenges,” McLaurin mentioned the day Burrow was injured. “He assaults them head on … and be careful, as a result of he is a man who each time he will get knocked down he will get again up somewhat stronger.”
That is what Younger hopes for himself after tearing his ACL in his proper knee on Nov. 14 — nearly a yr after Burrow’s harm. Younger has been rehabbing his knee in Colorado, saying he is already squatting 225 kilos and performing one-legged squats with weight on the again of his knee. He is leaping, too.
“I am within the mindset of Rocky Balboa when he went to the mountains, chopping timber and issues like that,” Younger mentioned, referencing the film “Rocky IV.” “I am beginning out blue-collar, that grit, simply getting that mindset so when the season comes round I am able to rock.”
Younger didn’t have the type of season he or others anticipated. After a powerful end to his rookie yr — he recorded 4 of his 7.5 sacks, compelled two fumbles, recovered three and scored a landing over his final six video games of the 2020 season — he struggled to make large performs in 2021. Going through extra double groups and chip blocks from opposing tight ends, he completed with 1.5 sacks and two compelled fumbles in 9 video games earlier than his season-ending harm.
“Everyone has hiccups within the street,” he mentioned. “It is not about the way you begin, it is the way you end. I plan to … preserve working exhausting and simply working to the individual I wish to be, the Corridor of Famer I wish to be sooner or later.”
For now, although, Younger’s on the Tremendous Bowl as a part of USAA’s Salute to Service platform. By USAA, Younger awarded a visit to Los Angeles plus two Tremendous Bowl tickets to Capt. Darryl Griffing, a member of the Georgia Military Nationwide Guard. Younger will meet with Griffing on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Younger mentioned he has a smooth spot for the army as a result of his grandfather was within the Air Power.
“It is loopy; it is a blessing to have the ability to bless others,” Younger mentioned. “Realizing my grandfather, he’d be actual happy with me.”