CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals entered the current phase of offseason workouts with the knowledge they did not possess last spring.
An AFC North team in last place was trying to make its way back into playoff contention a year ago. By the season's end, the Bengals were one or two possessions away from their first-ever Super Bowl.
In his first news conference since the Bengals lost to the Rams in Super Bowl LVI, quarterback Joe Burrow said the postseason run would give them the confidence to go on.
I think as we went into the playoffs last season, we knew we were good but weren't sure what it would take," Burrow said Tuesday. "What mattered is we played hard as a team, and it turned out to be the right decision."
"Now that we know what it takes, we can take advantage of our past experiences."
During the second phase of voluntary workouts, starting this week, coaches will be able to work with players during on-field exercises. The team is working together for the first time since the Bengals lost 23-20 to the Rams at the end of their best season in three decades.
Prior to this postseason, Cincinnati had not improved upon its 2015 playoff performance and was in the midst of the longest playoff drought in NFL history, which dated back to 1991.
In a statement, Burrow said he rewatched the Super Bowl and processed the defeat as he had done during his playing career. Ja'Marr Chase, last season's Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, hasn't reflected on the dramatic finish but feels the postseason experience will give the team confidence heading into next season.
Chase stated on Tuesday that "now we should expect that we are among the best in the league.". "We have to keep that expectation and move forward.".
The Bengals won their third conference championship last season, matching their 1981 and 1988 accomplishments. The team has historically struggled to sustain postseason success. The Bengals have never won back-to-back playoff games.
Cincinnati will be preparing for another challenging season after spending so many negative trends last season.
Tee Higgins said, "We've seen it, we've done it." And, "And we understand what it takes to get back to that point. That's our standard now. That's our standard for this team. No looking back."
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