Bengals Minicamp Takeaways: Joe Burrow on Evolving Offense, Safety Room Taking Shape

The Bengals wrapped up minicamp this week.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass at Bengals spring practice at the IEL Indoor Facility in Cincinnati on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass at Bengals spring practice at the IEL Indoor Facility in Cincinnati on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. / Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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CINCINNATI — The Bengals wrapped up minicamp on Thursday. They have plenty of new faces on the roster and coaches in different positions on staff.

This team will be different this season. Will the changes they made be beneficial in their quest to win the Super Bowl? Only time will tell, but we do have plenty of takeaways from a busy week at Bengals minicamp:

Eye Candy

The Bengals' offense is expected to evolve this season. Of course, they'll still be a pass-first team because they have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Joe Burrow, but they're going to mix things up a bit more this year.

"With the personnel we have this year, we’ll be able to do a lot more with personnel groupings," Burrow said. "Putting different people in different spots. And doing a lot of different things as far as eye candy and making teams adjust their personnel based on ours. I think the next couple of months through training camp will iron all that out as the coaches will go back and self-scout for the next month after this and iron that out, but I’m excited to kind of dive into that world."

Adding versatile pieces like Mike Gesicki and Jermaine Burton and the development of Andrei Iosivas and Charlie Jones give the Bengals a bunch of guys they can use in different ways with Tyler Boyd no longer in town.

They can play Iosivas and Tee Higgins on the outside with Ja'Marr Chase in the slot. They could put Jones or Gesicki in the slot. Trenton Irwin has some inside/outside flex, as does Burton.

"I think we’ll see a little bit more variety than we have in the past," Burrow said. "I think we're going to dictate that a little more this year. I’m excited about the pressure we’re going to put on defenses with our style of offense this year. It will be exciting to watch.

Running Back Room

Zack Moss and Chase Brown give Cincinnati a legitimate 1-2 punch. Most within the organization expect the duo to form a true running back by committee.

Moss is a quality pass blocker, is comfortable running the ball from shotgun and has shown that he can be explosive out of the backfield. It's reasonable to think of Moss as a faster, more explosive Samaje Perine.

Brown is one of the fastest players in the NFL. He worked on his pass catching this offseason. Don't be shocked if the Brown/Moss combo gives the Bengals more versatility than they've had in the past.

Second-Year Leap?

Iosivas got plenty of reps at receiver with Higgins not showing up for any of the offseason program. He caught the eyes of his teammates and could be a problem for opposing defenses.

Can you imagine a red zone package of Chase, Higgins, Gesicki and Iosivas? It's a big, physical group that could give Burrow plenty of options to throw it to in key situations.

Starting Safeties

It looks like the Bengals' starting safeties will be the two guys they signed in free agency. Geno Stone is entrenched in that deep safety spot, as expected. Look for him to be on the field for nearly all of the Bengals' defensive snaps.

They also signed veteran Vonn Bell. He appears to be firmly ahead of Jordan Battle for the other starting job. Stranger things have happened, but Battle could be Bell's backup and Tycen Anderson could serve as Stone's backup at free safety.

What About Cornerback?

The battle between Dax Hill and DJ Turner II will be one of the most talked about storylines in training camp. Both guys performed well in minicamp, each registering multiple pass breakups in college.

The Bengals are giving Hill a real opportunity to win the outside cornerback job. Say what you want about his first two seasons, but Hill developing into an effective cornerback would be a huge win for this organization and for him as a player.

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James Rapien


James Rapien covers the Bengals for Sports Illustrated's and is one-half of the Locked on Bengals Podcast. He's also the co-owner/creator of Cincinnati Bengals Talk on YouTube. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Cincinnati and has spent the majority of his professional career in the Queen City. Rapien previously covered the Cavaliers and Indians in Cleveland. He has a background in radio, which includes stops at 700 WLW, ESPN 1530 and 92.3 The Fan. He loves a good trade rumor and uses copious amounts of hot sauce on his food. Cincinnati chili is his go-to meal, followed by gallons of mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. When he isn't working or eating, he's probably walking his dog Finley or spending time with family.