From Week 1 through Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season, per SiS, Joe Burrow led all quarterbacks with 317 dropbacks of 0-3 steps, and the quick passing game was a huge part of Cincinnati’s offense until Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury. So much for getting the ball out quickly to avoid pressure — only Buffalo’s Josh Allen was pressured more often on short throws than Burrow’s 104 total pressures.
If the Bengals are going to revive that short-drop strategy, perhaps that’s why they took Chase with the fifth overall pick instead of the best offensive tackles on the board (which were, at that point, all of them). In 2019, when Chase was paired with Burrow in LSU’s record-setting offense, he caught 68 passes on 102 targets for 1,550 yards, 964 air yards, and 18 touchdowns on throws that came after 0-3 step drops.
And these weren’t just dinky throws or red-zone stuff, either — Chase had 21 catches on 33 targets for 812 yards, 605 air yards, and 11 touchdowns on passes of 0-3 step drops, and 20 or more air yards. So, while the Bengals’ offensive line is still a bit of a question mark, at least Burrow has his most devastating partner back in the fold on all those short-drop throws.