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Bengals Player Reveals Joe Burrow's Offseason Message

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on the field

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 02: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

For the first time in 33 years, the Cincinnati Bengals are in the AFC Championship Game. Quarterback Joe Burrow has led the way all season.

But according to Bengals safety Jessie Bates, Burrow began rallying the troops as far back as last offseason. When the team convened for OTAs in late May, every single player showed up, including Burrow, who was still recovering from ACL surgery.

Bates told reporters that the No. 1 overall pick made a point to emphasize the need for all his teammates to be present at OTAs and begin to buy in for 2022.

"We won four games last year. Why wouldn't we show up?" Bates said of Burrow's message,

Bengals S Jessie Bates said the buy-in for this year's group started when everyone showed up for OTAs. Bates said Joe Burrow delivered this message: "We won four games last year. Why wouldn't we show up?"

— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 23, 2022

">via ESPN's Ben Baby.

The Bengals received Burrow's message, and lately they have delivered messages to the rest of the AFC. After beating the Las Vegas Raiders in the wild card round, Cincinnati went on the road and eliminated the Tennessee Titans, the conference's No. 1 seed, on Saturday.

Now, the upstarts from the Queen City await their opponent in next week's title game. It will either be the Kansas City Chiefs, who the Bengals beat on Jan. 2, or the Buffalo Bills, who ironically were the last team to face Cincinnati in an AFC Championship Game, way back in January 1989.